Lee* is in his mid-50s. He was born in Singapore and is married with 2 grown children. Six years ago, after a routine eye examination, Lee’s optometrist detected high pressure in one of his eyes. He was referred to an ophthalmologist for further tests and treatment, and went to his GP for additional testing. His GP diagnosed Lee with type 2 diabetes, based on his HbA1c results.
Lee was prescribed metformin to control his blood glucose levels and has regular HbA1c tests, eye checks, and blood pressure and blood lipid checks. He also sees a dietitian and a diabetes educator. He monitors his eyes closely with visits to the ophthalmologist, and takes eye drops to lower the pressure in his eyes.
Lee used to eat a diet high in carbohydrates. For a person with diabetes, carbohydrate intake is the most important part of the diet to consider when it comes to managing blood glucose levels. Lee says that, initially, it was a challenge to maintain his blood glucose levels within the target range.
It took a while for him to coordinate his meals and medication to avoid hypoglycaemia (low glucose levels) or hyperglycaemia (high glucose levels). He now follows a low carbohydrate diet that limits certain foods (such as rice) and has increased his intake of fruit and vegetables. He also takes long distance walks a couple of times a week.
Lifestyle changes have resulted in additional health benefits for Lee. His previously high cholesterol levels have improved with changes to his diet and increased physical activity.
As a result, over the last couple of years, Lee has been able to reduce the dose of metformin he needs to control his blood glucose levels.
This case study is based on an interview with a person who is living with type 2 diabetes. This personal account is not necessarily representative of the circumstances of other people with type 2 diabetes or the challenges they may face, but it is our hope that it will give readers a greater awareness and understanding of the diversity of people’s experiences with diabetes.
The information provided does not contain medical advice – consult a qualified healthcare professional for guidance relating to your personal medical needs.
*Names and identifying characteristics have been changed. Images are not representative of individuals in the story.