What is Diabetes?

  • Diabetes is a condition that occurs when there is too much glucose (sugar) present in the blood.
  • The amount of glucose in the blood is under normal conditions well-stabilized.
  • There are different types of diabetes, a significant majority of Diabetes patients on Aruba have type-2 diabetes. With Type-2 diabetes, the pancreas produces insulin, but the body cannot make enough use of it, this is called Insulin Resistance.
  • Diabetes can worsen over time, this happens when the pancreas produces less insulin.
  • Diabetes requires regular check-ups because the conditions of the disease can change over time.
  • Once you have diabetes, it cannot be cured.
  • Diabetes is a disease that needs to be well monitored because there is always a chance of developing complications.
  • The good news is that there is a lot you can do to lower the risk of diabetes or to reduce the consequences of diabetes.

Symptoms of Diabetes

During the PRISMA encounters, you may have noticed that people with diabetes can experience different symptoms. Experiencing a symptom, or an increase of symptoms, can be a sign that the glucose level in the blood is too high. Below you’ll find a few of the most common symptoms that appear due to high-levels of glucose in the blood.

Frequent Urinating

When the body cannot maintain the blood glucose level below 10 mmol/liter, it activates some emergency measures. Glucose exits the body through urine. The disadvantage of this is that it is hard on the kidneys and can possibly cause frequent bathroom trips throughout the night. If the blood glucose level is normal, the frequent urinating will lessen.


When the kidneys remove the glucose from the urine, it requires liquids to dissolve the glucose. The body will communicate its need for more liquid through thirst. If you ignore the thirst, you’ll risk becoming dehydrated. Removing the glucose from the urine takes priority. The thirst will cease once the blood glucose levels go down and the body no longer needs to remove glucose.

Lack of Energy / Fatigue

Glucose is a combustible part of creating energy, so every part of the body needs it. If the blood glucose level in the body remains elevated and insufficiently reaches to the places where it is needed, it causes fatigue. There is a lack of energy. Once the glucose can be taken from the blood the fatigue will reduce.

Weight Loss

When glucose exits the body in the urine, the body loses energy. If the body cannot regain energy from the blood glucose, it will take energy from the fat reserves in the body. For certain people, this will be experienced as weight loss. Weight loss may seem like a good thing and not so much a complaint, but weight loss in this manner is unhealthy for the kidneys. Once the blood glucose levels improve, the body’s weight should re-stabilize.

Infections / Bladder Infection

Infections are caused by bacteria. Bacteria thrive in sugar-rich areas, so they particularly love glucose. A regular complaint with diabetics is bladder infections. Because the kidneys remove excess glucose via urine, the bladder can become a glucose-rich area, which is an ideal spot for bacteria to multiply itself. The result is an irritating bladder infection that can regularly come back. When the urine is glucose-free as a result of the blood glucose levels being under control, it becomes easier to combat the bladder infection and there will be less risk of it coming back.

Blurred Vision

The eye’s lens is also affected by high glucose levels in the blood, causing it to deform, which causes blurry vision. Once the blood glucose levels are normal, the vision will be fixed.

No Symptoms

An absence of symptoms does not automatically mean the blood glucose levels are normal. The complaints that arise when levels are elevated aren’t always obvious: everyone feels tired sometimes, urinates more than usual, gets infections, or feels unfit. Blurry vision and thirst won’t necessarily raise any immediate red flags. You won’t necessarily experience weight loss. Most people experience a change when they begin treatments for diabetes, that’s when they realize something had been amiss.

Diabetes Treatment


Cells become more sensitive towards insulin through movement. They absorb glucose easier, resulting in a lower blood glucose level. If you measure your blood before and after 30 minutes of exercise, you will notice this easily. Not only does the amount of blood glucose decrease during movement, but also in the period after. Additionally, movement is important if you want to lower your waist size. Less fat in the abdominal area ensures that insulin can work more efficiently and the glucose will decrease. Movement doesn’t only have influence on the waist size and weight loss, but it also helps lower blood pressure, improves cholesterol, maintains a healthy heart, lowers stress, and improves your mood.

Healthy Diet

Glucose enters the blood through food. The carbohydrates that you eat get broken down in the intestines and become glucose. Glucose in turn gets absorbed into the blood via the internal wall of the intestines. The more carbohydrates you eat, the higher the blood glucose level becomes. Adapting what you eat can have a big influence on lowering the blood glucose levels. Foods with high carbohydrates are bread, cereal, rice, pasta, fruits, and all products with added sugar, such as soft-drinks, juices, cookies, and candies.

You can also eat carbohydrates throughout the day in smaller portions or as a snack, instead of one big portion. It’s also possible to eat less carbohydrates. For example putting less rice and replacing it with vegetables or salad. Other ways to use less sugar is through product replacement, diet soda instead of normal soda, a biscuit instead of a cake.

Less fat in the abdominal area allows the insulin to work more efficiently in lowering the glucose levels. To lower the fat in the abdominal area, the body needs to use the fat reserves in the body. That means you need to take in less energy than you are using. There are 2 ways of doing this: Eat less (take in less energy), and move more (use more energy).


There are different pills that help lower the blood glucose levels

  • Metaformine makes sure ‘the locks’ on the cells open easily and get exhausted less, allowing for easier access for glucose, which lowers the blood glucose levels. Metamorfina also ensures that less glucose exits the liver.
  • Sulfonyluream Tablets (S.U.) can encourage insulin production in the pancreas. Sometimes these tablets may cause low blood glucose levels. This is usually due to a lack of eating, being more active, or alcohol consumption.
  • Thiazolidinedionen Tablets do the same as Metaformine, making it easier for glucose to enter cells. One disadvantage of Thiazolidinedionen is that it may cause weight gain.

1 out every 3 people with type-2 diabetes needs to supplement their body with more insulin. There are different types of insulin, each work in a different way. Some work slowly throughout the day, helping the body with an extra supplement of insulin. Other types of insulin work immediately and limits the increase of the blood glucose levels after a meal. The amount and type of insulin depends on what the body requires and is programmed based on your need. Injecting insulin does not automatically mean your diabetes is more severe. A high blood glucose level is much more severe compared to injecting insulin that maintains the blood glucose level under control.

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