What is diabetes?

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    In 2012 diabetes was the direct cause of 1.5 million deaths and by 2030 it is expected to become the 7th leading cause of death worldwide.

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It is a disease in which the body itself loses the ability to regulate blood glucose levels. The body does not produce or stops producing the required hormone, the insulin, generated by the pancreas.

Types of diabetes

There are two major forms of diabetes:Type 1 diabetes, which occurs when the body does not produce insulin, and type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the body does not use insulin effectively.

Type 1 Diabetes

familia-tipo-1

Commonly occurs in childhood or adolescence. The body itself destroys insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas.

No insulin is produced
Attacks its own immune system
Develops in childhood or adolescence
There is no cure
Can not be prevented
Positive results for Anti-GAD, IA2 and ICA antibodies

Type 2 Diabetes

familia-tipo-2

Develops when the body cannot produce enough insulin due to a deficiency of the pancreas. It develops most often in middle-aged and, in many cases, remains undiagnosed for years.

Not enough insulin is produced
Related to obesity, sedentary lifestyle and genetic factors
Develops in adulthood or old age
There is no cure
Can be prevented by eating a healthy diet and exercising
Negative results for Anti-GAD, IA2 and ICA antibodies

How do you detect this disease?

These are the most common symptoms of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

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    Imbalance, vertigo, difficulty understanding, delay in answering questions, poor school performance, impaired vision.

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    Ringing in the ears, clogged ear sensation.

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    Nausea and vomiting

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Symptoms

Type 1 Diabetes

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    Irritability, blurred vision

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    Feeling very hungry (polyphagia) and very thirsty (polydipsia)

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    Cramps, fatigue (asthenia), weight loss

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    Stomach pain, nausea and vomiting

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    Urinating often (polyuria)

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Symptoms

Type 2 Diabetes

Groups at risk and prevention

Who is most at risk of getting it and how can you prevent it? Interestingly, several factors may signal an increased risk of developing diabetes mellitus. These can be classified into:

Genetic factors

Diabetes genetic factors are inevitable:

Family history

A member of the family already has it.

Race

The risk of type 2 diabetes is higher among African-Americans, Hispanic/Latin-Americans, Native Americans, Asian people and Pacific Islander population.

Gender

In men, the risk is double.

Other factors

There are other factors that can be prevented following a healthy lifestyle:

Weight

Avoid weighing over 20% of your ideal weight.

Regular physical activity

At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a day.

Healthy diet

Eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day and avoid high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.

Smoking

Avoid smoking to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and to prevent high blood pressure.

Treatments

What are the treatments for each of these types of diabetes?

Type 1 Diabetes

External insulin administration only
Physical activity to avoid complications
Dyslipidemia control (concentration of lipids in the blood)
No oral agents are administered
Blood Pressure Control
Daily glycemic control (monitoring of the concentration of glucose in the blood)
Control of the diet related to the insulin dose

Type 2 Diabetes

External insulin administration (but not in all cases)
Physical activity as part of treatment
Dyslipidemia control (concentration of lipids in the blood)
Oral agents are administered
Blood Pressure Control
Daily glycemic control (monitoring of the concentration of glucose in the blood)
Changing habits related to obesity and physical inactivity

Current situation

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Global situation

347 million people in the world suffer from diabetes today. This means one out of 10 people suffers from diabetes.

Europe

In Europe 60 million people suffer it.

5.3 million

  • In Spain 29.000 people under 15 years old suffer from Type 1 diabetes
  • In Spain 5 millions people suffer from Type 2 diabetes
  • 7 out of 10 amputations are due to diabetes
  • 16% of blind people in Spain are blind through this condition
  • 25.000 die each year from diabetes

3,5 million people

In Italy 3,5 million people suffer from diabetes.

7,2 million

In Germany 7,2 million people suffer from diabetes.

3,2 million

In France 3,2 million people suffer from diabetes.

3.3 million

In UK 3.3 million people suffer from diabetes.

886.700 cases

In Netherdlands there are 886.700 cases of diabetes.

573.900

In Austria there are 573.900 cases of diabetes.

1 million

In Portugal 1 million people aged between 20 and 79 years suffer from diabetes.

438.000

In Switzerland 438.000 people suffer from diabetes.

Latin America

In Latin America 25 million people suffer from diabetes. In rural areas the prevalence is 1 to 2%, while in urban areas it is of 7 to 8%.

10.6 million

In México 10.6 million people suffer from diabetes.

1.5 million

In Chile 1.5 million people aged between 20 to 79 years suffer from diabetes.

11,6 millions

In Brazil 11,6 million of people are affected by diabetes.

2.5 million

In Argentina 2.5 million people suffer from diabetes.

1 million

In Perú 1 million people over 25 years suffer from diabetes.

1.5 million

In Colombia 1.5 million people suffer from diabetes

bandera-usa

29,1 million

In USA 29,1 million people suffer from diabetes.

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7,2 million

In Japan 7,2 million people suffer from diabetes.

Curiosities

There are two ways to control insulin production in a person with Type 1 diabetes: with a machine that works like a pancreas or, transplanting insulin producing cells from a donor. The problem with transplants is that for patients not to suffer rejection they must take very toxic drugs.

The first artificial pancreas devices appeared already in the 1980s. Today there are thousands of models which, with a reservoir of insulin, dispense (through an infusion system) the quantity the patient requires for each time of the day.

What researchers are trying now is to innovate by creating an “artificial pancreas” that allows people with type 1 to have more autonomy in their everyday life without the need of regular monitoring and avoid low and high blood glucose levels, by using a remote control from their own mobile devices that would improve their quality of life.

According to some studies by JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association) diabetes is a major problem in the United States, although the good news is that the figures of those suffering from this disease has stagnated in recent years.

One of the main factors that has led the US to this situation is that it is a society prone to fast food and a sedentary lifestyle. Thousand of campaigns have been launched to promote healthy diets and daily physical activity to prevent obesity, mainly, among the Hispanic population. Therefore, even though the number of those suffering the disease is disturbing, the fact that the figures have stagnated from 2011 to 2014, gives a glimmer of hope.

According to the American Diabetes Association this problem accounts for a national cost of approximately 245,000 million dollars a year, and causes an average of 71,000 deaths.

Did you know…

… 347 million people in the world suffer from diabetes?

…the total health care costs of a person with diabetes in the USA are between twice and three times those for people without the condition?

… in ancient times they drank urin to detect diabetes?

… the Mediterranean diet helps control diabetes?

Caesarean section increases the risk of childhood diabetes?