Diabetes mellitus, popularly called Diabetes, is a metabolic disease that causes high blood sugar. This occurs because your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t effectively use the insulin it makes for the body, reports Nigerian Tribune.
Insulin is a hormone that moves sugar from your blood to your cells for energy storage. If it malfunctions, you may have diabetes.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the prevalence of diabetes in Nigeria to be 4.3%, and the prevalence is largely attributed to the lifestyle changes caused by urbanisation and excessive consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks, lack of exercise, tobacco use and harmful use of alcohol.
Every November 14 is World Diabetes Day (WDD), created in 1991 by IDF and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat of diabetes.
World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2006 with the passage of United Nations Resolution 61/225. It is marked on the same day as the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922.
Here are 10 key facts you should know about Diabetes:
1. Sugar is not the primary cause of Diabetes: While eating too much sugar may increase your chances of obesity and Type 2 diabetes, it is not the primary cause of diabetes.
2. Diabetes, if left untreated, can cause blindness, delay in wound healing, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation.
3. Diabetes, especially Type 2 diabetes, is a leading cause of death in the world. According to WHO, in 2019, diabetes and kidney disease caused an estimated 2 million deaths globally.
4. Diabetes can be treated and its consequences avoided or delayed: With diet, physical activity, medication, regular screening and treatment for complications, it is possible to live long and healthy with diabetes.
5. Type 2 diabetes occurs in older people, age 35 and above, while type 1 occurs in young people.
6. A diabetic patient will lose weight rapidly instead of being obese.
7. There are four types of diabetes: Diabetes Type 1, Type 2, Type 1.5 and gestational. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body doesn’t produce insulin.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin. Type 1.5 diabetes, also known as latent autoimmune diabetes (LADA), occurs during adulthood and sets in gradually like type 2 diabetes. Gestational diabetes occurs only in women during pregnancy and goes away after the baby is born.
8. Over 420 million people in the world have some form of diabetes, with type 2 being the most common.
9. About 90-95% of people with diabetes have type 2.
Women who have gestational diabetes are more at risk for Type 2 diabetes after they give birth.
10. Type 1.5 diabetes, LADA, cannot be treated by diet or lifestyle: Because it is genetic, it may be impossible to prevent the development of this diabetes type. However, medications and insulin injections can make it manageable.