” Diabetes concerns every family
Over 425 million people are currently living with diabetes. Most of these cases are type 2 diabetes, which is largely preventable through regular physical activity, a healthy and balanced diet, and the promotion of healthy living environments. Families have a key role to play in addressing the modifiable risk factors for type 2 diabetes and must be provided with the education, resources and environments to live a healthy lifestyle.
1 in 2 people currently living with diabetes is undiagnosed. Most cases are type 2 diabetes. Early diagnosis and treatment are key to prevent the complications of diabetes and achieve healthy outcomes. All families are potentially affected by diabetes and so awareness of the signs, symptoms and risk factors for all types of diabetes are vital to help detect it early.
Diabetes can be expensive for the individual and family. In many countries, the cost of insulin injection and daily monitoring alone can consume half of a family’s average disposable income, and regular and affordable access to essential diabetes medicines are out of reach for too many. Improving access to affordable diabetes medicines and care is therefore urgent to avoid increased costs for the individual and family, which impact on health outcomes.
Less than 1 in 4 family members have access to diabetes education programmes. Family support in diabetes care has been shown to have a substantial effect in improving health outcomes for people with diabetes. It is therefore important that ongoing diabetes self-management education and support be accessible to all people with diabetes and their families to reduce the emotional impact of the disease that can result in a negative quality of life.”
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Blood glucose is your main source of energy and comes from the food you eat.Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose from food get into your cells to be used for energy. Sometimes your body doesn’t make enough—or any—insulin or doesn’t use insulin well. Glucose then stays in your blood and doesn’t reach your cells.
Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause health problems. Although diabetes has no cure, you can take steps to manage your diabetes and stay healthy.
Sometimes people call diabetes “a touch of sugar” or “borderline diabetes.” These terms suggest that someone doesn’t really have diabetes or has a less serious case, but every case of diabetes is serious.
What are the symptoms of diabetes?
Symptoms of diabetes include
- increased thirst and urination
- increased hunger
- blurred vision
- numbness or tingling in the feet or hands
- sores that do not heal
- unexplained weight loss
Symptoms of type 1 diabetes can start quickly, in a matter of weeks. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes often develop slowly—over the course of several years—and can be so mild that you might not even notice them. Many people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms. Some people do not find out they have the disease until they have diabetes-related health problems, such as blurred vision or heart trouble.
What are the different types of diabetes?
The most common types of diabetes are type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes
If you have type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. Your immune systems attacks and destroys the cells in your pancreas that make insulin. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, although it can appear at any age. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day to stay alive.
Type 2 diabetes
If you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not make or use insulin well. You can develop type 2 diabetes at any age, even during childhood. However, this type of diabetes occurs most often in middle-aged and older people. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes.
Gestational diabetes develops in some women when they are pregnant. Most of the time, this type of diabetes goes away after the baby is born. However, if you’ve had gestational diabetes, you have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Sometimes diabetes diagnosed during pregnancy is actually type 2 diabetes.
Other types of diabetes
Less common types include monogenic diabetes, which is an inherited form of diabetes, and cystic fibrosis related diabetes
Common warnings signs of diabetes include:
- Increased thirst.
- Increased hunger (especially after eating)
- Dry mouth.
- Frequent urination or urine infections.
- Unexplained weight loss (even though you are eating and feel hungry)
- Fatigue (weak, tired feeling)
- Blurred vision.
What happens if you leave diabetes untreated?
Diabetes can be effectively managed when caught early. However, when left untreated, it can lead to potential complications that include heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, and nerve damage. Normally after you eat or drink, your body will break down sugars from your food and use them for energy in your cells.
Can you get rid of diabetes?
Treatment for type 2 diabetes includes monitoring your blood sugar levels and using medications or insulin when needed. Doctors also recommend losing weight through diet and exercise. … If you start eating healthier, get more exercise, and lose weight, you can reduce your symptoms
tips to help prevent type 2 diabetes
You can help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes by understanding your risk and making changes to your lifestyle. Common risk factors include increased weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride (blood fat) levels. Changing the habits of a lifetime isn’t easy, but it’s worth the effort.
Here are some tips to help you reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Check your risk of diabetes.Take the life risk assessment test and learn more about your risk of developing diabetes
- Manage your weight.Excess body fat, particularly if stored around the abdomen, can increase the body’s resistance to the hormone insulin. This can lead to type 2 diabetes.
- Exercise regularly.Moderate physical activity on most days of the week helps manage weight, reduce blood glucose levels and may also improve blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Eat a balanced, healthy diet.Reduce the amount of fat in your diet, especially saturated and trans fats. Eat more fruit, vegetables and high-fibre foods. Cut back on salt.
- Limit takeaway and processed foods.‘Convenience meals’ are usually high in salt, fat and kilo joules. It’s best to cook for yourself using fresh ingredients whenever possible.
- Limit your alcohol intake.Too much alcohol can lead to weight gain and may increase your blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Men should have no more than two standard drinks a day and women should have no more than one.
- Quit smoking.Smokers are twice as likely to develop diabetes as non-smokers.
- Control your blood pressure.Most people can do this with regular exercise, a balanced diet and by keeping a healthy weight. In some cases, you might need medication prescribed by your doctor.
- Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.Diabetes and cardiovascular disease have many risk factors in common, including obesity and physical inactivity.
- See your doctor for regular check-ups.As you get older, it’s a good idea to regularly check your blood glucose, blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels.