Can be Completely Prevented with Simple Life Style Changes
Deaths due to dementias more than doubled between 2000 and 2016, making it the 5th leading cause of global deaths in 2016 compared to 14th in 2000. According to WHO statistics, for every 1 lac population 21 deaths are occurring due to Diabetes. In 2016, an estimated 1.6 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes. Another 2.2 million deaths were attributable to high blood glucose in 2012. Diabetes prevalence has been rising more rapidly in low- and middle-income countries than in high-income countries. The global prevalence of diabetes among adults over 18 years of age rose from 4.7% in 1980 to 8.5% in 2014.
Diabetes – The Disease
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Hyperglycaemia, or raised blood sugar, is a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes and over time leads to serious damage to many of the body’s systems, especially the nerves and blood vessels. Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation.
Types of Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes
- Type 1 diabetes (previously known as insulin-dependent, juvenile or childhood-onset) is characterized by deficient insulin production and requires daily administration of insulin. Neither the cause of Type 1 diabetes nor the means to prevent it are known.
- Symptoms include excessive excretion of urine (polyuria), thirst (polydipsia), constant hunger, weight loss, vision changes, and fatigue. These symptoms may occur suddenly.
Type 2 diabetes
- Type 2 diabetes (formerly called non-insulin-dependent, or adult-onset) results from the body’s ineffective use of insulin. The majority of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. This type of diabetes is largely the result of excess body weight and physical inactivity.
- Symptoms may be similar to those of type 1 diabetes, but are often less marked. As a result, the disease may be diagnosed several years after onset, after complications have already arisen.
- Until recently, this type of diabetes was seen only in adults but it is now also occurring increasingly frequently in children.
- Gestational diabetes is hyperglycaemia with blood glucose values above normal but below those diagnostic of diabetes. Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy
- Women with gestational diabetes are at an increased risk of complications during pregnancy and at delivery. These women and possibly their children are also at increased risk of type 2 diabetes in the future.
- Gestational diabetes is diagnosed through prenatal screening, rather than through reported symptoms.
Impaired glucose tolerance and impaired fasting glycaemia
Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and impaired fasting glycaemia (IFG) are intermediate conditions in the transition between normality and diabetes. People with IGT or IFG are at high risk of progressing to type 2 diabetes, although this is not inevitable.
Over time, diabetes can damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves.
- Adults with diabetes have a two- to three-fold increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- Combined with reduced blood flow, neuropathy (nerve damage) in the feet increases the chance of foot ulcers, infection and eventual need for limb amputation.
- Diabetic retinopathy is an important cause of blindness, and occurs as a result of long-term accumulated damage to the small blood vessels in the retina. Diabetes is the cause of 2.6% of global blindness.
- Diabetes is among the leading causes of kidney failure.
Diagnosis and treatment
Early diagnosis can be accomplished through relatively inexpensive testing of blood sugar. Treatment of diabetes involves diet and physical activity along with lowering of blood glucose and the levels of other known risk factors that damage blood vessels. Tobacco use cessation is also important to avoid complications.
Interventions that are both cost-saving and feasible in low- and middle-income countries include:
- Blood glucose control, particularly in type 1 diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes require insulin, people with type 2 diabetes can be treated with oral medication, but may also require insulin; blood pressure control
- Foot care (patient self-care by maintaining foot hygiene; wearing appropriate footwear; seeking professional care for ulcer management; and regular examination of feet by health professionals)
Other cost saving interventions includes:
- Screening and treatment for retinopathy (which causes blindness)
- Blood lipid control (to regulate cholesterol levels)
- Screening for early signs of diabetes-related kidney disease and treatment
Simple lifestyle measures have been shown to be effective in preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes. To help prevent type 2 diabetes and its complications, people should:
- Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight;
- Be physically active – doing at least 30 minutes of regular, moderate-intensity activity on most days. More activity is required for weight control;
- Eat a healthy diet, avoiding sugar and saturated fats; and
- Avoid tobacco use – smoking increases the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Thus one can avoid acquiring such deadly disease that will make one to suffer lifelong by simply making one active with simple exercises such as walking that includes healthy diet, healthy life style.