Endocrinology / Diabetes

Endocrinologists deal with metabolic illnesses such as diabetes and thyroid problems. Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar level to become too high, seriously affecting their ability to function. There were 5,200 cases of diabetes in Cayman Islands in 2015.

The above statistic comes from the International Diabetes Federation of North America and the Caribbean, and it is a startling proportion of the population that is affected.

The Cayman Islands Diabetes Association works towards a future without diabetes by creating awareness, providing education to the local community, while improving the lives of diabetics and their families. They partner with the Cayman Heart Fund to conduct free diabetes screenings for the public. They can be contacted at cidiabetes@candw.ky or www.caymandiabetes.com.

Information on Diabetes

There are two main types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes – where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin
Type 2 diabetes – where the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin

Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1.

During pregnancy, some women have such high levels of blood glucose that their body is unable to produce enough insulin to absorb it all. This is known as gestational diabetes.

It’s very important for diabetes to be diagnosed as early as possible because it will get progressively worse if left untreated. Many people have blood sugar levels above the normal range, but not high enough to be diagnosed as having diabetes.

This is sometimes known as pre-diabetes. If your blood sugar level is above the normal range, your risk of developing full-blown diabetes is increased.

The main symptoms of diabetes include:

feeling very thirsty;
urinating more frequently than usual, particularly at night;
feeling very tired;
weight loss and loss of muscle bulk;
itching around the penis or vagina, or frequent episodes of thrush;
cuts or wounds that heal slowly;
blurred vision.

You are more at risk of Type 2 diabetes if:

You’re overweight or have a high Body Mass Index (BMI);
You have a large waist (more than 80cm/31.5 inches in women, 94 cm/37 inches in men or 90cm/35 inches in South Asian men);
You’re from an African-Caribbean, Black African, Chinese or South Asian background and over 25;
You’re from any other ethnic background and over 40;
You have a parent, brother or sister with diabetes;
You have ever had high blood pressure, a heart attack or a stroke;
You have a history of polycystic ovaries, gestational diabetes or have given birth to a baby over 10 pounds/4.5kg;
You suffer from schizophrenia, bipolar illness or depression, or you are taking anti-psychotic medication.

See our page on Internists for information on Internal Medicine.