Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the pancreas does not produce enough insulin (a hormone that regulates the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood) or the body cannot effectively use the insulin produced. As part of the celebration of World Diabetes Day, doctors once again call on Ukrainians to visit their family doctor, measure their blood sugar and learn about their own risks for diabetes.
According to the World Health Organization, almost 422 million people worldwide have diabetes, and 1.5 million deaths each year are directly related to this disease.
The incidence and prevalence of diabetes have been increasing over the past few decades.
There are three main types of diabetes:
- Type 1 diabetes insulin dependent. It occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin to absorb sugar (glucose) from the food it eats and cannot convert it into energy. It is a chronic condition.
- Type 2 diabetes. It occurs when the body does not produce or use insulin to its full extent. This is the most common type of diabetes.
- Gestational diabetes. It is diagnosed during pregnancy. Although it can be observed for some time after the birth of a child.
The causes of type 1 diabetes are not well understood, so it is almost impossible to prevent the disease. At the same time, it is known for sure that most cases of type 2 diabetes are associated with excess weight and lack of physical activity. It can be prevented in 80% of cases.
What are the symptoms of the disease?
Symptoms of diabetes include:
- excessive urination;
- constant feeling of hunger;
- weight loss;
- constant feeling of fatigue;
- deterioration of vision.
Over time, diabetes leads to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves. Adults with diabetes have a 2-3 times higher risk of heart attack and stroke than others. The overall risk of death among people with diabetes is at least twice that of people of the same age who do not have diabetes. 6.2% of deaths in the world are related to diabetes.
Decreased blood flow through affected vessels in combination with damage to nerve endings significantly increases the risk of leg ulcers, their infection, and later amputation.
Damage to the retina of the eye – diabetic retinopathy occurs as a result of damage to small blood vessels and is the cause of 1% of cases of blindness.
Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure.
You can learn more about diabetes on the Diabetes Hunters website. “Diabetes hunters” is an information campaign of the Center for Public Health of Ukraine and the Ukrainian-Swiss project “Acting for Health”, aimed at reducing the prevalence of risk factors for non-infectious diseases in Ukraine. The campaign is implemented with the support of Switzerland, provided through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
According to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine