For most people diabetes takes a stronghold in their minds as the condition that forbids them from ever having sweets. While that is partly true in most cases, there’s a lot more to diabetes than the inability to munch on your favorite foods. In fact, there’s a lot about this disease that people don’t really know about.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that is typified by having higher than normal amounts of blood sugar levels. This happens for one of two reasons – either the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to metabolize the sugar or the body fails to use the insulin that is being produced.
Diabetes can be broadly classified into two main categories:
Type 1, which usually develops early on in life (childhood or adolescence) and requires patients to survive on insulin injections as part of their treatment. The symptoms of this condition are frequent urination, continual thirst, extreme fatigue, weight loss, and severe hunger pangs. Owing to the ambiguous nature of these symptoms, type 1 diabetes usually goes unnoticed for a very long time.
Type 2 is more common among adults and is usually caused by an unhealthy lifestyle, obesity, lack of exercise, and poor diet. 90% of all diabetes cases fall under this category and treatment for this condition combines insulin injections, lifestyle changes, weight loss, and oral medication such as generic Actos 45mg.
Whether it is type 1 or type 2, people with diabetes are more susceptible towards long-term complications, such as heart disease, eye problems, strokes, foot problems, and kidney disease. For this reason, it is imperative that those suffering from diabetes keep a vigilant eye on their blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
According to a report published by the World Health Organization, diabetes is becoming one of the most common afflictions of modern times. In fact, it would not be stretching the truth to say that the world is standing on the brink of a widespread epidemic of diabetes, especially the kind that is caused by physical inactivity and obesity.
In 2005, more than 1 million people died of death. However, this figure is misleading for the simple reason that while people live with diabetes their whole life, their deaths are often recorded as kidney failure or heart attack. As you can imagine, if those fatalities are also taken into account, the actual picture is a lot grimmer. Even more disturbing is the prediction that deaths caused by diabetes are only projected to go up by more than 50% over the next decade or so. In upper-middle income countries, this percentage is as high as 80%.
A yet another new (and worrying) trend has been noticed recently. Type 2 diabetes – a condition that was more prevalent among adults – is being reported among children and adolescents as well. A rare phenomenon by all accounts, it accounts for more than 50% of the newly diagnosed cases in some countries. This indirectly indicates towards an increasingly unhealthy lifestyle and obesity among our younger members of the population.
Even as health bodies and governments across the world are looking for a solution to this problem, there is no denying that the key lies in educating and spreading awareness about this condition. That, and a healthier lifestyle, could free us from the complications associated with type 2 diabetes at least.