What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition that affects the ability of the body to process glucose in the blood, otherwise known as blood sugar.
The estimated number of people over the age of 18 with diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes in the United States is 30.2 million, the figure accounts for 27.9 to 32.7 percent of the population.
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease caused by pancreas inherited and/or acquired insulin production deficiency or insulin ineffectiveness.
Such a deficiency results in increased blood glucose concentrations, which in turn damages many of the systems of the body, especially the blood vessels and nerves.
The most common types of diabetes are type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes:
This type also known as juvenile diabetes occurs when insulin is not produced by the body. Individuals with type I diabetes are insulin-dependent, meaning they have to take artificial insulin daily to keep alive.
Type 2 diabetes:
Type 2 diabetes affects how the insulin is used by the body, while the body still produces insulin, the body’s cells do not respond to it as effectively as they once did, unlike in type I.
According to the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, this is the most common type of diabetes and has strong links to obesity.
This type occurs when the body may become less sensitive to insulin in women during pregnancy, gestational diabetes in all women does not occur and usually resolves after birth.
The symptoms of diabetes may be pronounced, subdued, or even absent.
- The classic symptoms in type 1 diabetes are excessive urine secretion (polyuria), thirst (polydipsia), weight loss, and fatigue.
- In type 2 diabetes, these symptoms may be less pronounced, it can also happen in this form that there are no early symptoms and the disease is only diagnosed several years after its onset when complications are already present.
How common is diabetes?
By 2015, there were 30.3 million people living with diabetes in the United States, or 9.4 percent of the population. More than 1 in 4 of them were unaware of the disease they had. diabetes affects 1 in 4 individuals over 65 years of age, approximately 90-95% of adult cases are type 2 diabetes.
What health problems can people with diabetes develop?
- heart disease
- kidney disease
- eye problems
- dental disease
- nerve damage
- foot problems
Diet and physical activity are the cornerstones of non-pharmacological diabetes treatment.
Approximately 40 percent of people with diabetes need oral agents for satisfactory blood glucose control, and about 40 percent need insulin injections. Frederic Banting and Charles Best in 1921 in Canada isolated this hormone, it revolutionized diabetes treatment and its complications prevention, transforming type 1 diabetes from a fatal disease into one in which long-term survival was achieved.