If you have been diagnosed with diabetes or have a pre-diabetic condition, or think you might be developing the disease, or just want to know a bit more about the condition and how to avoid or control it, here is some basic information about the disease that you need to know. Understanding this information will help you live with the condition.
Diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus, is a chronic metabolic condition in which the sufferer has high levels of blood glucose (sugar). This is due to the pancreas either not producing enough insulin, or because the body does not respond to the insulin that is produced. It is an increasingly common condition, and statistics from the World Health Organization reports that there are over 346 million diabetes sufferers worldwide, and that 90% suffer from Type 2 diabetes. It is estimated that in the United States 26 million people suffer from diabetes and that 7 million of these are undiagnosed or unaware of their condition. In the UK 3 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes and an estimated 850,000 have the disease but don’t know it.
Diabetes is a serious and life threatening condition. Worldwide, deaths from high blood sugar levels as a result of diabetes led to 3.4 million deaths in 2004. More than 8 in 10 deaths occurred in middle to low income countries, whilst more than half of diabetes cases go undiagnosed in developing nations. The World Health Organization anticipates that by 2030 worldwide deaths from diabetes will have doubled.
The risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases with age. More than 1 in 10 adults aged 20 or older suffers from diabetes, whilst the figure rises to 1 in 4 for those aged 65 and over. Although males have a slightly increased risk of type 2 diabetes compared with females, this is probably due more to lifestyle factors and body weight rather than any gender differences. Currently the highest rate of diabetes worldwide is within the 40-59 age range, but this is expected to have shifted to those aged 60-79 by 2030.
Problems and complications associated with type 2 diabetes are common and can be severe. Side effects of the disease can include heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, eye problems and blindness, kidney disease, complications in pregnancy, and mental health problems such as depression.
Whilst these statistics might seem alarming this guide sets out to delve a bit deeper behind the facts and figures. The aim is to provide some basic but useful information about diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes.
In this guide you will discover what diabetes is, what causes diabetes, how it might be prevented, how it can be controlled, the myths and misinformation surrounding the condition, how to avoid the problems and complications associated with the disease, and how to cope with the disease so that you can live a long and fulfilling life.
This guide probably won’t answer all of your questions. It does not discuss specific medication or recommend any form of drug treatment as that is the job of your doctor or qualified medical practitioner. What it will do is provide you with a general understanding of the condition and some of the things you can do for yourself to successfully manage your condition so that you can live with it on a daily basis.