Diabetes is a disease which infects more than 380 million people worldwide, and can strike anyone from all walks of life. Diabetes is a leading cause of conditions such as blindness, kidney failures, heart failures, strokes and even amputations. Diabetes is a serious condition which costs more than $1 trillion to treat and manage. Diabetes has no cures.
What is Diabetes?
To first understand what is Diabetes, we must first understand the role of insulin in the body. Insulin is produced by pancreas in the body to assist glucose (sugar which is received from the food we eat) in getting to the cells of our body. When Diabetes happens, the body does not make enough insulin or cannot utilize insulin effectively, and can result in sugar building up in the blood.
There are two major types of Diabetes, one is Type 1 Diabetes and the other is Type 2 Diabetes:
Type 1 Diabetes
Accounts for about 10% of Diabetes cases. Also known as being dependent on insulin. This particular type of Diabetes requires insulin to treat and is typically developed in both children and adults. Pancreatic cells are destroyed by the immune system and insulin production becomes impossible (NIH NIDDK, 2016).
Type 2 Diabetes
Accounts for about 80-90% of Diabetes cases. Type 2 Diabetes arises when the body is unable to make use of or make enough insulin. Compared to Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes is more common and are more rampant amongst middle aged adults and the elderly.
There is another type of rare Diabetes, known as Gestational Diabetes, which sometimes develop in women who are pregnant and goes away after pregnancy. However, there is a positive correlation between Gestational Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes, and these females have higher chances of developing Diabetes later on in life.
Is Diabetes transmissible?
Diabetes is noncommunicable. It cannot be transmitted through usual means. There are some researchers and scientists who have hinted that Diabetes could be transmissible but there are no concrete statistics to back this up. There is a lot of noise for this disease, but essentially, Diabetes is non-transmissible.
What causes Diabetes?
Nobody knows what causes Type 1 Diabetes. There are some suggestions that it could be caused by environmental or genetic factors, or a combination of both. The fact is, no one really knows.
Type 2 Diabetes is however, more known in the sense that many scientists and researchers have attributed Type 2 Diabetes to both genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors. This type of Diabetes usually starts with insulin resistance, and some say extra belly fat is linked to insulin resistance. There is also much correlation between Type 2 Diabetes and obesity.
How can we fight against Diabetes?
Type 1 Diabetes is combatted against by directly injecting insulin into the body (done through an insulin pump) while for Type 2 Diabetes, a healthy diet and regular exercise is usually advised. However, medication is often taken as well and one common drug taken is metformin, which lowers the amount of glucose in the blood and helps the body use insulin better.
Diabetes is a disease which can be prevented, however, once you get it, it’s hard to cure in the traditional sense, especially for Type 1 Diabetes. This is also a serious disease, as it can cause blindness, and many other complications.
Globally, the management and treatment of the disease is an expensive one, usually landing families into financial hardships, especially when amputations are required as well. Our advice is to constantly stay healthy, exercise more and stop extra sugar intake!