Leading Cause – Diabetes
Diabetes is the number one cause of kidney failure in Singapore, accounting for 67% of new cases. Diabetes is a condition in which the body does not respond to insulin or is unable to produce insulin. When there is a shortage of insulin in the body and/or body resistance to insulin, the blood glucose level remains high. This can cause damage to the blood vessels in the kidney, as the nephrons have to work extra hard to filter the blood. Over time, they become damaged and lose their filtering ability.
To find out if you are at risk of developing diabetes, you may visit https://www.healthhub.sg/programmes/DRA
The National Kidney Foundation, CEO, Mr Tim Oei, has written an Open Letter Against Diabetes in conjunction with World Diabetes Day 2020 to raise awareness of diabetes’ dark shadow.
Diabetes Statistics in Singapore
There are three main types of diabetes:
Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus is an autoimmune disease.
The pancreas produces little or no insulin. It develops most often in children and young adults.
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus is the most common form of diabetes.
The main defect here is body resistance to insulin where the pancreas produces insulin but the body does not use it properly.
This develops mainly in adults and is associated with obesity.
Gestational diabetes is diagnosed during pregnancy and is not clearly overt diabetes.
This is seen in some women late in pregnancy and usually disappears after delivery.
Signs & Symptoms
How does uncontrolled diabetes affect my kidneys?
- Uncontrolled diabetes increases
the sugar level in our blood, causing
the kidneys to work harder to clean
- Over time, this damages the
tiny filtering units in the kidneys
- The kidneys begin to leak protein
into the urine instead of staying in
- Kidney disease gets worse over time,
leading to more fluid and toxic
wastes staying in the blood
What to look out for?
Regular health screening is the best way to detect early signs of diabetes and obtain timely treatment. If you have a body mass index (BMI) of over 23.0kg/m2 (click here to calculate your BMI), first degree relative with diabetes and/or over 40 years old, you may like to see your family doctor for diabetes screening.
You have diabetes if your:
- Fasting blood glucose is 7.0 mmol/L or higher
- Random blood glucose is 11.1 mmol/L or higher
Fasting Plasma Glucose
(Tested in the morning after 8 hours of overnight fasting)
|≤ 6.0||6.1 — 6.9||≥ 7.0|
Random Blood Glucose
(A blood sample taken 2 hours after oral ingestion of a sugar solution)
|< 7.8||7.8 — 11.0||≥ 11.1|
(MOH Clinical Practice Guidelines, 2014)