What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious complex condition which can affect the entire body. Diabetes requires daily self care and if complications develop, diabetes can have a significant impact on quality of life and can reduce life expectancy. While there is currently no cure for diabetes, you can live an enjoyable life by learning about the condition and effectively managing it(1).
There are different types of diabetes; all types are complex and serious. The three main types of diabetes are type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes.(1)
Although the umbrella term ‘diabetes’ covers all three types, each type is very different, and therefore managed differently. The common thread between then is in regard to glucose management. Essentially, how glucose is processed in the body.
Our bodies function on glucose (sugar) metabolism. There is a hormone called insulin which is in charge of the conversion of glucose into energy. Those with diabetes cannot produce insulin sufficiently, or no longer at all. This means that when a diabetic patient eats, there is insufficient energy production from the food, not to mention the blood glucose levels staying high. This can result in many complex symptoms, and subsequent health complications.
- Type 1 diabetes accounts for 10% of all diabetes and is increasing
- Type 2 diabetes accounts for 85% of all diabetes and is increasing
- Gestational diabetes in pregnancy is increasing
- Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in working age adults
- Diabetes is a leading cause of kidney failure and dialysis
- Diabetes Increases the risk of heart attacks and stroke by up to four times
- Is a major cause of limb amputations
- Affects mental health as well as physical health. Depression, anxiety and distress occur in more than 30% of all people with diabetes
As type 2 diabetes accounts for 85% of all diabetes, and has been linked to diet and lifestyle, here are some tips to help lower your risk(1):
- Decreasing or eliminating sugar from your diet, including simple carbohydrates
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Regular physical activity
- Making healthy food choices
- Managing blood pressure
- Managing cholesterol levels
- Not smoking.
Early diagnosis, optimal treatment and effective ongoing support and management reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications.
Consult your health care professional if for more information.