Looking Beyond Prevention for Diabetes Care

One in nine Singaporeans today is already living with diabetes[1]. Therefore, it is valuable for us to discuss better diabetes maintenance along with prevention strategies.

Singapore’s efforts to combat diabetes has been a focus for a while now. In April 2016, the Ministry of Health (MOH) committed S$1 billion a year to this cause[2]. In his 2017 National Day Rally speech, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong strengthened the nation’s call-to-action against diabetes by highlighting the disease as one of the key long-term issues to address. Since then, diabetes has continued to be a trending topic[3] in Singapore.

While these initiatives have been successful, most of the conversation so far has focused largely on prevention. There is an opportunity to take these efforts even further to support patients who have already been diagnosed, and are at a higher risk of developing complications.

For example, did you know that high or unregulated blood glucose caused by diabetes often leads to serious complications such as stroke and heart attacks? Yet 1 in 3 diabetic patients in Singapore have difficulty maintaining consistent blood sugar[1]. The result? Half of the total number of heart attack victims in Singapore also have diabetes[4].

For those with diabetes, taking medication on time, maintaining a healthy, stress-free lifestyle with a balanced diet and plenty of exercise is crucial to avoid heart complications. But it goes beyond that. Patients and their caregivers need to start having heart-to-hearts with their doctors to find out how susceptible they are to heart disease based on their condition, medical history, and lifestyle.

Some questions patients and caregivers can start with include:

  • Am I at risk of a heart attack, stroke, and other complications?
  • What other factors are contributing to my risk of heart disease?
  • What measures can I take to reduce these risks?

Having in-depth and open conversations with your doctors will go a long way towards helping you manage diabetes and its complications. While prevention remains important, if you already have diabetes, or know someone with diabetes, we can all take steps towards better health by knowing these risks and educating our loved ones.

Disclaimer: The information provided is for information purpose only and is not meant to be substituted for the advice given by a registered medical practitioner. This information should not be used for diagnosing health problems or for self-medication. Boehringer Ingelheim shall not be responsible for any damages or losses arising out of access to or use of information provided.

[2] Channel NewsAsia. Are we winning in the war against diabetes yet?. Last accessed June 2018.
[3] The Health Promotion Board (HPB) launched the “Let’s Beat Diabetes” campaign featuring a Diabetes Risk Assessment Tool. People’s Association organizations have run regular activities to raise awareness about diabetes and its health risks. HPB also ran its successful National Steps Challenge.
[4] Health Hub. 10 things you need to know about diabetes. Last accessed June 2018.