According to the World Health Organization, Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.
Type 1 Diabetes is characterized by deficient insulin production, as a result of the immune system destroying cells in the pancreas. Due to the lack of insulin produced, a daily administration of insulin is required.
Type 2 Diabetes occurs when the body’s production of insulin is ineffective. The World Health Organization states that type 2 diabetes comprises the majority of people diagnosed with diabetes around the world, and it is largely the result of excess body weight and physical inactivity. Over time, diabetes can affect the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves.
According to the World Health Organization, gestational diabetes is known as hyperglycemia, also known as high blood sugar. The blood glucose levels are above normal but not high enough as those with diabetes. Gestational diabetes also occurs during pregnancy, and it can cause complications during pregnancy and at delivery. A prenatal screening must be done to diagnose gestational diabetes, instead of through reported symptoms.
As stated by the World Health Organization,
• Adults with diabetes have an increased risk of getting heart attacks and strokes
• Diabetes can lead to kidney failure
• Nerve damage in the feet increases the risk of foot ulcers, infection, and eventual need for limb amputation; and
• 2.6% of global blindness can be attributed to diabetes
The cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown and is currently not preventable.
According to the World Health Organization, type 2 diabetes can be prevented or the onset can be delayed with certain lifestyle measures, such as:
• Achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight
• Being physically active and getting at least 30 minutes of regular, moderate activity on most days.
• Eating a healthy diet, avoiding sugar and saturated fats intake; and
• Avoiding use of tobacco, as smoking increases the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases
An early diagnosis can be accomplished through testing of blood sugar. Treatment of diabetes involves diet and physical activity, along with lowering blood glucose.
Interventions that can further aid in the treatment of diabetes include:
• Blood pressure control
• Foot care; and
• Blood glucose control in type 1 diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes require insulin, whereas people with type 2 diabetes can be treated with oral medication, but may also require insulin.