Every SIX seconds a person dies from diabetes. Diabetes caused an estimated 4.5 million deaths in the world in 2017 (IDF 2017).
The prevalence of diabetes is steadily increasing everywhere, most markedly in the world’s middle-income countries. Diabetes is no longer a disease of the rich. Diabetes is a serious, chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin (a hormone that regulates blood sugar, or glucose), or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Diabetes of all types can lead to complications in many parts of the body and can increase the overall risk of dying prematurely. Possible complications include heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, leg amputation, vision loss and nerve damage. In pregnancy, poorly controlled diabetes increases the risk of fetal death and other complications. High blood glucose called hyperglycemia is the defining characteristic of all types of diabetes. It happens when the body can no longer maintain a normal blood glucose level, due to failure in insulin secretion or action which leads to glucose being accumulated in the bloodstream rather than being moved into the cells. Blood glucose level of 130 mg/dl before a meal (i.e. Fasting blood sugar FBS) is considered high. However, most of the signs and symptoms of high blood glucose don’t appear until the blood glucose level is higher than 250 mg/dl.
Risk factors for diabetes
Type 1. The exact causes of type 1 diabetes are unknown. It is generally agreed that type 1 diabetes is the result of a complex interaction between genes and environmental factors, though no specific environmental risk factors have been shown to cause a significant number of cases. The majority of type 1 diabetes occurs in children and adolescents.
Type 2. The risk of type 2 diabetes is determined by an interplay of genetic and metabolic factors. Ethnicity, family history of diabetes, and previous gestational diabetes combine with older age, overweight and obesity, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and smoking to increase risk.Excess body fat, a summary measure of several aspects of diet and physical activity, is the strongest risk factor for type 2 diabetes, both in terms of clearest evidence base and largest relative risk. Overweight and obesity, together with physical inactivity, are estimated to cause a large proportion of the global diabetes burden. High intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, which contain considerable amounts of free sugars, 1 increases the likelihood of being overweight or obese, particularly among children. Recent evidence further suggests an association between high consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Early childhood nutrition affects the risk of type 2 diabetes later in life. Factors that appear to increase risk include poor fetal growth, low birth weight (particularly if followed by rapid postnatal catch-up growth) and high birth weight.
Commons symptoms of diabetes mellitus include:
Excessive thirst (Polydipsia)
Frequent urination (Polyuria)
Excessive hunger (Polyphagia)
Sudden weight loss
Extreme tiredness (Fatigue)