Two Women Share The Shocking Ways They Discovered They Had Diabetes

Diabetes plagues 1 in 9 Singaporeans. Here are two real life accounts by women who both found out by chance that they had Type 2 diabetes – one at just 28 years old - and despite overwhelming circumstances, managed to find ways to cope with the condition


Annabel Middleton, 44, found out that she had diabetes quite by accident in 2002, at the young age of 28 years.

Annabel Middleton enjoying a sunny day out at the beach. (Photo courtesy of Annabel)

She thought it was just PMS

“I did not suspect I had diabetes at all,” says Annabel. “I was about to go on a trip to the Philippines, but decided to see a doctor to get some cortisone cream as I had been suffering from a genital itch that just wouldn’t go away.”

However, the doctor felt compelled to do a blood test on the spot and discovered that her blood sugar was sky-high, she says. This was naturally a shock to Annabel, who had until then attributed the itch to pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), which had been going on for some time.

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There were signs

While one of the most probable causes for her having diabetes could be a family history – Annabel’s mother and maternal and paternal grandmothers had diabetes, including aunts and uncles from both sides – she regards her lifestyle as a major catalyst for its early onset.

“I was tired and stressed all the time”

Annabel, who is now a freelance writer, was working full-time in the publishing industry at that time. Work stress and long hours coupled with a variety of extra-curricular activities such as performing with singing groups and church ministries, left her with no time for “self-care”. Lack of me-time also meant making bad dietary choices.

“I was tired and stressed all the time,” she reveals, attributing it to just overwork. But they were also warning signs, which she did not realise until she was diagnosed.

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“Another thing that struck me only much later was that I had been rather irritable and snappy with the people around me. Again, I had attributed it to stress or my lack of patience with inefficient people or ineffective work systems. However, I later discovered that irritability is one of the symptoms of diabetes,” she says.

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