Diabetes is a chronic disease which is characterized by an excess of sugar in the blood, called hyperglycemia. In this file, SilverEco.org tells you more about diabetes by answering 7 key questions.
1 – What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disorder of assimilation, use and storage of sugar brought by nutrition. This translates into a high blood glucose level: hyperglycemia.
Diabetes in France
- In France, in 2013, more than 3 million people were taking medication for their diabetes (4.7% of the population).
- The number of people with diabetes aged 75 years and over reaches 26% (1 in 4).
Diabetes in the world
- 415 million people worldwide have diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Federation.
- WHO is forecasting 622 million diabetics by 2040.
- 5 million people died because of diabetes in 2015.
- 1 person dies of diabetes every 6 seconds in the world, more than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
2 – How to know if I have diabetes?
A blood glucose test is performed in a laboratory for medical analysis.
Diabetes is known to occur when fasting blood glucose is equal to or greater than 1.26 g / l twice or equal to or greater than 2 g / l at any time of day.
3 – What are the different types of diabetes?
There are different types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is due to the pancreas’s failure to produce enough insulin. It usually appears in childhood or adolescence and its treatment relies on insulin therapy for life.
Type 2 diabetes
The most frequent type 2 diabetes is promoted by an insulin resistance. Type 2 diabetes generally appears after 40 years, its frequency increases with age with a peak between 75 and 79 years. It can be long to diagnose, sometimes it can even take several years.
Gestational diabetes, also known as “pregnancy diabetes” occurs to pregnant women by the end of the second trimester of their pregnancy. It can last only during the pregnancy.
4 – What are the consequences of diabetes?
Diabetes is a major risk factor for cardio-neurovascular disease : people can be exposed to an increased risk of illness and death from cardio-neurovascular disease.
Diabetes can also damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves.
It is the leading cause of blindness before the age of 65, the leading cause of non-traumatic amputations and one of the leading causes of kidney failure.
5 – What are the existing treatments?
For type 1 diabetes, the only current treatment is insulin intake:
- either as injections (injection of insulin with a syringe or a pen),
- either with an insulin pump (pump treatment), a portable or implantable device intended to administer insulin continuously.
Type 2 diabetes is initially treated with dietary and hygiene measures, followed by possible use of antidiabetic treatments.
Since type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease, after the progressive increase of antidiabetics, insulin injections are generally offered as a complement to the patient when insulin deficiency is too high.
6 – How to prevent diabetes naturally?
For type 2 diabetes, by reducing risk factors:
- promoting a balanced diet, especially by eating fruits and vegetables, foods high in fiber and limiting the consumption of fat products or added sugars such as sodas;
- promoting regular physical activity;
- and reducing overweight and obesity.
7 – Is it possible to live normally with diabetes?
It is possible to live with diabetes, although sometimes it has an important impact for the patient.
Indeed, it is necessary to adopt a healthy lifestyle, to follow a regular medical follow-up, to adapt treatments and to know how to manage the risks of diabetes and its treatment.