What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is one of the most prevalent medical conditions in the world. As of 2017, 8.8% of the adult human population is suffering from diabetes. That’s around 425 million people – a tad higher than World Health Organization’s estimate of 422 million in 2014. This number of diabetics is expected to grow to 9.9% by 2045.
As the numbers continue to rise, so do the number of studies and treatments. But before we get to that, let’s take a look what diabetes is.
What is diabetes?
To understand how diabetes works, you first have to know how your body deals with sugar. When you eat, the body breaks food down and converts it to sugars, or glucose. Once food becomes glucose, your pancreas produces insulin, a hormone which helps in moving glucose to your cells and turning it into energy. Diabetes is the lack of insulin or ability to produce insulin, resulting in having high levels of blood glucose, or blood sugar. It is lifelong and does not choose its victims. Diabetes affects people from all walks of life.
Kinds of diabetes
There are five kinds of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, monogenic diabetes, and diabetes related to Cystic Fibrosis. Of the five, Types 1 and 2 are most prevalent.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the pancreas’ insulin-producing cells. It is also called juvenile diabetes since it commonly occurs in children and teenagers. Adults may also develop Type 1 diabetes. This is the most severe type of diabetes and requires the patient to take a daily dose of insulin. Until now, science has not found the cause for this.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a condition where the body does not produce enough insulin or use insulin well. Type 2 diabetes can occur at any age, although it is more common among individuals aged 35 and above. It is also called adult-onset diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is also categorized as a lifestyle disease since it happens to people who are overweight or live sedentary lifestyles. Type 2 diabetes is preventable by eating and living healthier.
Gestational diabetes is a condition that develops in pregnant women. Though it may go away after the woman gives birth, her chance of acquiring Type 2 diabetes increases. Monogenic diabetes occurs when there are mutations in a single gene. It happens to infants and persons younger than 20 years old. People who have Cystic Fibrosis may also develop diabetes.
People with diabetes are at risk for cataracts, blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, nerve damages, and even anxiety and depression.
There are no known treatments for diabetes, but there are ways of regulating it. Diabetics regulate their condition by regularly injecting insulin. However, recent studies have shown that having a proper diet can help you regulate diabetes better even without insulin intake. This is one of the seven steps that will bring you to better health.
Check out this website to know more about the other steps that can help diabetics live a better life.