Why Diabetes?

 

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is an illness which occurs as a result of problems with the production and supply of insulin in the body.

Risk Factors

The risk factors for type 1 diabetes are still being researched. However, having a family member with type 1 diabetes increases the risks for developing the condition, as do the presence of some genetic factors. Environmental factors, increased height and weight development, increased maternal age at delivery, and exposure to some viral infections have also been linked to the risk of developing type 1 diabetes. (International Diabetes Federation)

Several risk factors have been associated with type 2 diabetes and include:

  • Obesity
  • Diet and physical inactivity
  • Increasing age
  • Insulin resistance
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Ethnicity

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Types of Diabetes Type 1 diabetes is sometimes called insulin-dependent, immune-mediated or juvenile-onset diabetes.  People with this form of diabetes need injections of insulin every day in order to control the levels of glucose in their blood. If people with type 1 diabetes do not have access to insulin, they die.

People with type 2 diabetes do not usually require injections of insulin. Usually they can control the glucose in their blood by watching their diet, taking regular exercise, oral medication, and possibly insulin.

The onset of type 2 diabetes is also linked to genetic factors but obesity, physical inactivity and unhealthy diet increase the risks. Some women develop a temporary type of diabetes called ‘gestational diabetes’ when they are pregnant. Gestational diabetes develops in 2-5% of all pregnancies, but usually disappears when the pregnancy is over.

The Warning Signs

  • Abnormal thirst and a dry mouth
  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme tiredness/lack of energy
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Slow-healing wounds
  • Recurrent infections
  • Blurred vision

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Managing your Diabetes

Good diabetes control means keeping your blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible. This can be achieved by a combination of the following:

Physical Activity:

A goal of at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per day (e.g. brisk walking, swimming, cycling, dancing) on most days of the week.

Body weight:

Weight loss improves insulin resistance, blood glucose and high lipid levels in the short term, and reduces blood pressure. It is important to reach and maintain a healthy weight.

Healthy Eating:

Avoiding foods high in sugars and saturated fats, and limiting alcohol consumption.

Avoid tobacco:

Tobacco use is associated with more complications in people with diabetes.

Monitoring for complications:

Monitoring and early detection of complications is an essential part of good diabetes care. This includes regular foot and eye checks, controlling blood pressure and blood glucose, and assessing risks for cardiovascular and kidney disease. (International Diabetes Association)

Complications-graphic

Complications of Diabetes

  • Visual Impairment
  • Kidney Disease
  • Stroke
  • Heart Disease
  • Nerve Damage
  • Amputation

Quick Facts

  • As of 2014 there are over 387 million people living with diabetes. 
  • Every 7 seconds, 1 person dies from diabetes.  That is 4.9 million deaths in 2014.
  • Every 10 seconds 2 people develop diabetes.
  • The largest age group currently affected by diabetes is between 40-59 years.
  • Diabetes is the main cause of partial vision loss, and blindness in adults in developed countries.
  • 1 million amputations a year are a result of diabetes.
  • 1 in 12 people with diabetes.  1 in 2 people with diabetes do not know they have it.
  • Diabetes is one of the major causes of premature illness and death worldwide. Non-communicable diseases including diabetes account for 60% of all deaths worldwide.
  • In 2012 as many as 60 million women of productive age have type 2 diabetes, and Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) affects up to 15% of pregnant women worldwide.
  • 78,000 children develop type 1 diabetes every year.
  • Today, IDF estimates that over 387 million people have diabetes, and approximately half of these are women.

PREVENTION

HbA1c Test

 

Get Checked for Diabetes! 

C.I.D.A. uses the HbA1c Test it is considered the gold standard for testing diabetes and identifying persons at risk of becoming diabetic.

The HbA1c test indicates on average what an individual’s blood glucose levels have been for the previous 3 months.

Type 2 diabetes, can be prevented in many cases by maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active. (International Diabetes Federation)

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