Unveiling Malaysia’s Diabetes Crisis: A Call for Early Screening and Lifestyle Changes

By Alpro Pharmacy

June 18, 2024

“Diabetes is one of the top causes of death in Malaysia!”

“84% of adults aged 18-29 years with diabetes DO NOT KNOW they have diabetes,”

These are the findings from National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2023. 

Are our young population in Malaysia getting sufficient screening? 

Most likely, the answer is NO.

The NHMS 2023 also reports that:

“1 in 3 adults in Malaysia are inactive.”

“95.1% of adults in Malaysia consume inadequate fruit and vegetables daily.”

As we scroll through social media today, we see big, delicious meals, sugary drinks, and desserts going viral. As urbanization progresses, we’re spending more time at jobs and on screens, resulting in less physical activity. These trends fuel the unhealthy lifestyle habits contributing to the diabetes crisis. 

The Silent Threat of Pre-Diabetes

Many individuals enter a pre-diabetic phase first, where blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be classified as diabetes. Unfortunately, pre-diabetes often presents no clear symptoms, making it difficult to detect without proper screening. According to Tuso.P, if left untreated, 37% of pre-diabetes cases develop into diabetes within four years. However, if identified early, lifestyle interventions can reduce this progression to just 20%.

Can Pre-diabetes Be Reversed?

The answer is definitely a YES! Often, the focus is on diet and lifestyle changes. However, one crucial point that is often left out is Self-Monitoring Blood Glucose (SMBG). Why? You need to understand your blood glucose levels better before and during lifestyle changes to improve it! Monitoring blood glucose at various times helps to precisely adjust therapy and lifestyle activities, ultimately improving glycaemic control and preventing complications.

Try technology!

Traditional blood glucose monitoring, which requires multiple daily finger pricks, can be challenging, especially for busy individuals who may occasionally forget or those afraid of needles.

Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) systems offer real-time data and trend information without the need for finger pricks. CGMs allow users to understand how their glucose levels fluctuate in response to various factors such as food, exercise, and medication. By monitoring the “time-in-range” (TIR)—the duration blood glucose levels remain within the recommended range—individuals with diabetes can aim for 70% of readings in the normal range, essential for preventing complications.

There's an App for That!

Many diabetic apps are designed to help users meticulously record, analyse, and interpret glucose readings and trends. These technological marvels provide invaluable insights, enabling healthcare professionals to interpret results with utmost precision. With accurate data and trends, these professionals can offer tailored lifestyle and dietary recommendations, ensuring precise and effective guidance for the community.

Catch It Early, Beat It Strong

In the evolving landscape of healthcare, diabetes is increasingly affecting younger individuals. It is now recommended that individuals undergo diabetic screening annually starting at age 30. Fortunately, managing diabetes has become more streamlined, making early detection and intervention easier than ever. By proactively screening and seeking assistance in management, individuals can pave the way for early prevention or even reversal of diabetes.

Let’s take charge of our health and embrace the power of early action. Together, we can turn the tide on this growing crisis.

Need More Information? Talk to Our Expert!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Alpro ePharmacy or visit the nearest Alpro Pharmacy. Our team, consisting of pharmacists, doctors, physiotherapists, nutritionists, audiologists and dietitians, is ready to assist and provide support.

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