Diabetes mellitus refers to a group of diseases characterized by high blood sugar levels which, if left untreated, can lead to many complications, including death. Diabetes occurs when a person’s pancreas can’t make enough insulin, or when their body doesn’t respond to insulin the way it should. There are four main types of the disease including Type 1, Type 2, gestational diabetes, and other specific types. People with type 1 diabetes need insulin, while people with type 2 diabetes can be treated with diet, exercise, medication, and in some cases, insulin. Gestational diabetes occurs in some pregnant women and usually goes away after the baby is born. Other specific types are diabetes with individual causes.
Approximately 463 million adults (20-79 years) were living with diabetes; by 2045 this will rise to 700 million.
Diabetes can be prevented in many cases by ensuring that a person eats a healthy diet and maintains a healthy weight, and exercises regularly.
79% of adults with diabetes were living in low- and middle-income countries.
It is estimated that there are 415 million people around the world living with diabetes. 90% of the cases are type 2 diabetes – which can be prevented or reversed if patients follow diet and exercise plans.
1 in 5 of the people who are above 65 years old have diabetes.
Diabetes rates are expected to continue to rise around the world as more people eat unhealthy diets and do not get sufficient exercise.
1 in 2 (232 million) people with diabetes were undiagnosed.
In 2012 alone, diabetes treatment in the United States was roughly $245 billion.
Diabetes caused 4.2 million deaths.
Signs of diabetes can include increased thirst, increased urination, blurry vision, fatigue, headaches, and many more.
Diabetes caused at least USD 760 billion dollars in health expenditure in 2019 – 10% of total spending on adults.
Obesity is a contributing factor to diabetes in many cases.
More than 1.1 million children and adolescents are living with type 1 diabetes.
Once considered to be rare, the incidence of type 2 diabetes in children is rising all over the world.
More than 20 million live births (1 in 6 live births) are affected by diabetes during pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy. It is the result of increased blood sugar, or hyperglycemia.
374 million people are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Some women require medication to control their blood sugar while others are able to control it with diet and exercise. This often disappears after childbirth. In some cases however it increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future, for both mother and child.
The proportion of people with type 2 diabetes is increasing in most countries.
Complications of diabetes can include kidney failure, blindness, amputation, cardiovascular disease, strokes, numbness, pain, foot problems, muscle wasting, and a decline in cognitive function.
About 90-95 percent of people with diabetes have Type 2, while about 5 percent have Type 1, and the remainder have gestational diabetes.
Other specific causes of diabetes include genetic defects, exocrine pancreatic defects, endocrinopathies, infections, and certain drugs such as statins and thyroid hormone.
While diabetes and the complications of it is the number 7 cause of death in the United States, it has a much higher mortality rate in the rest of the world.
It is estimated that approximately one-third of those with diabetes are unaware they have the disease.
Type 1 diabetes usually develops early in life, and has been known previously as insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes. It’s most common in African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos.
In many cases type 2 diabetes does not produce symptoms and it is discovered during routine blood work.
The main dietary restrictions a person with diabetes should practice are avoiding excess sugar, unhealthy fats (i.e. saturated and trans fats), sodium and cholesterol.
Those at risk for type 2 diabetes should take preventative measures such as losing weight, and adding exercise to their daily regimen.
Watching your carb consumption, eating fiber-rich foods—like green vegetables and fresh fruits—and consuming lean meats and other healthy sources of protein can all help your body stay healthy while you deal with diabetes.
Those with diabetes are twice as likely to develop heart disease, than those who do not have the disease.
If diabetes is not managed well, it can get out of hand. It can lead to conditions like diabetic retinopathy, which affects your sight and can cause blindness.
Some obese type 2 diabetes patients are cured by bariatric surgery, while others experience reduced symptoms.
About a third of United States adults have prediabetes, a borderline-diabetic high blood sugar condition, but 90 percent of them don’t know it.
Type 1 diabetes is not preventable but type 2 preventable is in many cases.
People who smoke are also 30-40 percent more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.
Smoking is considered a risk factor for developing diabetes. Stress and depression have also been linked to its development.
Staying healthy through proper diet and about 30 minutes of exercise every day or on most days can drastically decrease your chance of getting Type 2 diabetes.
Physical activity is considered to be a major preventative measure to reduce the chances of developing diabetes.