Echo Buzz: The Silent Killer, Diabetes

“If you eat too much sugar, you’ll get diabetes!” Almost every child has been warned of this at least once when the child tries to indulge in desserts. Without sugarcoating this illness, diabetes was named when they discovered “sweet urine” also known as “diabetes mellitus”. Sugar is addictive but there are also many other causes of diabetes. 

Disclaimer: All medical information is presented from health websites based on sources provided. Our writers have no medical expertise. 

Types of Diabetes 

There are 3 main types of diabetes: Type I, Type II and gestational diabetes(GDM). Type I diabetes is usually found in children and teens although anyone can be a victim of it. 90% of diabetes cases, and also commonly in adult cases, is Type II diabetes. This happens when one’s body cannot make good use of insulin in their body. GDM is diabetes found among pregnant women which causes complications to their unborn child and the mother because of high blood glucose during pregnancy. 

Diabetes Status in Malaysia

(Source: National Health and Morbidity Survey 2019)

Diabetes which is also commonly known as Kencing Manis is a non-communicable disease that affects people regardless of their age group, gender or race. According to the National Diabetes Registry Report 2020, there were a total of 902,991 active diabetes patients and 99.33% were diagnosed with T2DM. However, it also appears that most Malaysians do not fully understand diabetes and its resultant health consequences. The first Malaysian Diabetes Index is a survey that was aimed to measure the level of awareness and understanding of diabetes in Malaysia. This survey, a partnership between the drug company, AstraZeneca and the Malaysian Endocrine & Metabolic Society, has revealed that half (52%) of the respondents were not aware that diabetes cannot be cured. It has also brought to light the fact that while heart disease complications are the most deadliest of all, it is the least known. Among the other key findings of the survey includes: 

World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day is marked on 14 November, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin with Charle Best in 1922. The campaign not only helps draw attention to issues of paramount importance in the world of Diabetes but it also aims to be a platform in order to promote International Diabetes Federation advocacy efforts throughout the year as well as be the global driver to promote the importance of taking coordinated and concerted actions to confront diabetes as a critical global health issue. The blue circle logo that was adopted in 2007 symbolises the unity of the global diabetes community in response to the ongoing epidemic. The theme for the World Diabetes Day from 2021-23 is Access to Diabetes Care – If not now, when? 

By 2022, Insulin would have been discovered for 100 years. Even then, it is crucial for everyone to bear in mind that it is still not globally accessible. Insulin alongside many other diabetes medicines and care still remain out of reach for many who need them. While securing universal access to all who require insulin very much still remains a global challenge, united, the global diabetes community has the influence to bring about change for a greater good. 

Diabetes Screening Test

Better to be safe than sorry. It is critical to pay attention to any symptoms and not dismiss them in order to discover diabetes early and begin treatment as soon as possible. And if one does not face the symptoms of diabetes, it is advisable to check up every now and then. Here are two commonly known tests, healthcare specialists might recommend and carry out to prevent complexities. Getting a gist of these tests may encourage one to try it out themselves and also, bridge the gap to knowing the body’s state and its needs. ‘The more you understand yourself, the healthier you are’ –  Maxime Lagacé

A1C Test 

This test is a simple blood glucose test that records one’s blood sugar levels over a period of 3 months to monitor the average blood sugar level in percentage. The blood sample is drawn either from the fingertips or the arm. It is a very straightforward process as when sugar enters our body, it attaches itself to our blood cells otherwise known as haemoglobin, creating sugar coated haemoglobin. A track record of the blood sugar level (A1C results) should give a 5.7 percent and below to be exempted from the prediabetes stage which is from 5.7 to 6.4 percent. Beyond 6.4 percent one is said to be diagnosed with diabetes.  But of course, this basic test will get complicated if there are more variables on display depending on one’s body condition. An anaemic person will not be able to rely on A1C results and factors such as age and more have to be considered. 

Glucose Tolerance Test 

As the name implies, this test is similar to administering a test to the body to see how much glucose it can take. One is required to fast overnight and blood is drawn to test the blood sugar levels when there is no intake for the time. Then a glucose-containing liquid (Lucozade) is ingested and the blood sugar levels are monitored for roughly 2 to possibly 3 hours. After the monitoring period, a blood sugar level of 200 mg/dL (milligrams per decilitre) and above indicates a sign of diabetes while a blood sugar level of 140 to 199 mg/dL is a sign of prediabetes. Sometimes a follow-up glucose tolerance test may be necessary. 

Letter of Courage, Respect and Hope by Echo

To all the warriors who are fighting the battle that most people don’t understand, 

There will come a day when you say ‘I used to have diabetes’ and that day is near. The possibility is there so believe in it. Your body is a vessel and diabetes does not define who you are. You are not weak, you are so strong that you’ve come this far coming in terms with it while standing tall. Take it one day at a time, although some days you may be thriving and some days you may be surviving; be gentle because the best you can give is the most of your effort. Be proud of it. Never give up. 




100 years of Insulin

World Diabetes Day

Written By: Twis, Jamie, Sumitra 

Edited By: Maki

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