Diabetes is a chronic disease in which there are high levels of sugar in the blood and a person has high blood sugar, either because the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced.
Due to lack of insulin there is high blood glucose in diabetes. Excess glucose in the blood can damage the blood vessels. This leads to several complications like heart disease, kidney damage, nerve damage, eye damage and blindness, impotence and stroke.
Diabetes, when not controlled, may raise the proclivity for infections. Infections and gangrene of the lower limbs is common in uncontrolled diabetes. This may necessitate an amputation if severe. People with diabetes are also 15% more likely to have a confiscation than people without the condition.
Statistics about Diabetes
Diabetes is the fastest growing long term disease that affects millions of people worldwide. According to the charity Diabetes UK, more than two million people in the UK have the condition and up to 750,000 more are unaware of having the condition.
In the United States 25.8 million people or 8.3% of the population have diabetes. Of these, 7.0 million have undiagnosed diabetes. In 2010, about 1.9 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in population over 20 years. It is said that if this trend continues, 1 in 3 Americans would be diabetic by 2050.
There are two major types of diabetes
- Type 1 diabetescan occur at any age, but it is most often diagnosed in children, teens, or young adults. In this disease, the body makes little or no insulin. Daily injections of insulin are needed. The exact cause is unknown.
- Type 2 diabetesmakes up most diabetes cases. It most often occurs in adulthood. However, because of high obesity rates, teens and young adults are now being diagnosed with it. Many people with type 2 diabetes do not know they have it.
- Gestational diabetesis high blood sugar that develops at any time during pregnancy in a woman who does not have diabetes.
Diabetes can cause several symptoms such as:
- Blurry vision
- Urinating often
- Feeling very thirsty
- Extreme fatigue
- Cuts/bruises those are slow to heal
- Weight loss – even though you are eating more (type 1)
- Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)
There are different tests to diagnose diabetes such as A1C, Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG), Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (also called the OGTT) and Random (also called Casual) Plasma Glucose Test.
The risk of complications with diabetes can be reduced by adhering to medical advice, personal health care and keeping diabetes under control. Blood sugar should be regularly monitored so that any problems can be detected and treated early. Treatment involves healthy diet and exercise as well as oral medications to regulate blood sugar. In all type 1 diabetics and in severe uncontrolled type 2 diabetics one or more injections of insulin a day may be needed to control diabetes.