Introduction to Diabetes
In this day and age, many are wondering how to avoid certain diseases, among which diabetes. This is a valid concern, because diabetes is a serious disease, and attention must be paid to preventing it.
Today there are far more people with this disease than fifty years ago. According to the World Health Organization, at least 170 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes. Its occurrence is increasing rapidly, and it is estimated that by 2030, this number might almost be double than today.
The term diabetes refers to a number of metabolic disorders. Metabolism refers to the way the body uses digested food for energy and growth. Most of what people eat is broken down into glucose. Glucose is a form of sugar in the blood - it is the principal source of fuel for the body.
Diabetes commonly affects the way the body uses blood sugar (blood glucose). If one has diabetes, no matter what type, this means that they have too much glucose in their blood, although the reasons for this may differ. During digestion, sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream. Normally, sugar then enters cells with the help of insulin, thus reducing the levels of it in the bloodstream.
Chronic diabetes conditions include type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. In type 1, the immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, thus leading to the increase of blood sugar levels. In type 2, the body’s cells simply become resistant to the action of insulin, also leading to increased blood sugar levels.
Potentially reversible diabetes conditions include prediabetes and gestational diabetes (this type occurs during pregnancy).
Symptoms of diabetes include: frequent urination, increased thirst and hunger, frequent infections (such as gum infections, skin infections, etc.), weight loss that is inexplicable, sores that take longer to heal, etc. As soon as, a person has noticed the first symptoms, it is vital that they consult a doctor immediately, because untreated diabetes may lead to other, severe health problems.
There are several ways of preventing diabetes. These include: keeping a healthy weight (while type 2 diabetes is mainly detected in people who are overweight), having a high-fiber, low-fat diet (fiber helps lower the blood sugar levels, while fats usually increase it), eating more vegetables and less meat.
For the prevention of this disease in children, parents should pay full attention to their children exercising regularly, eating healthy food (and avoiding junk food), and the whole family leading a healthy lifestyle (this is the best example for the child).
If a pregnant woman wants to avoid gestational diabetes, she must do the following things: exercise regularly for about 30 minutes (walking is recommended for pregnant women), drink a lot of water, maintain a healthy wait and take care she gains the weight she is supposed to, and to eat smaller portions of food more times a day.
With these simple steps the chances of getting diabetes decrease significantly.