Diabetes is a condition where your body either does not produce enough insulin (type 1) or cannot use the insulin it produces (type 2). There is also gestational diabetes which occurs during the pregnancy. With over 463 million adults living with diabetes, chances are it affects you or someone you know.
In 2019, diabetes caused 4.2 million deaths worldwide. 1 out of 5 of the people who are above 65 years old have diabetes, and more than 1.1 million children and adolescents are living with type 1 diabetes. (1)
Last year, 1 in 2 (232 million) people with diabetes were undiagnosed. If left untreated or improperly managed, diabetes can result in a variety of complications.
What can be done to prevent or at least delay type 2 diabetes?
- Keep healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels
- Keep a healthy weight
- Quit smoking
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day
- Limit intake of fats and sugars
What are the potential complications of diabetes?
In the long term, it can lead to:
- Eye diseases which can lead to blindness
- Poor oral health which can lead to periodontitis
- Cardiovascular disease
- Kidney disease
- Nerve and/or vascular damage
As explained above, there are 2 types of diabetes. Most of the symptoms are quite similar, although there are some important differences.
Both types of diabetes can develop at any age although type 1 diabetes often starts at a younger age and symptoms tend to develop more rapidly, while type 2 diabetes often develops after the age of 40 and tend to progress more slowly. Patients can have type 2 diabetes for years without being aware.
You should be aware that there are some characteristic symptoms that may be a sign of diabetes:
- Excess urine
- Excessive thirst and appetite
- Frequent infections and slow healing wounds
If you have these symptoms it is best to turn to your GP. A simple finger prick blood test can tell if your blood glucoses are higher than normal. If this is the case more blood testing will be done.
Opportunities to reduce Diabetes:
It has been demonstrated that changes in lifestyle (diet, exercise and weight management) reduce this risk to develop diabetes type 2.
Treatment can exist of a diet, medication or injecting insulin or a combination of these. If you are diagnosed with diabetes type 2 a diet or losing weight can contribute in bringing down your blood sugar levels.
Foyer Global Health has partnered with Best Doctors to ensure you make the best possible decisions about your health. The second medical opinion service brings you in contact with experts from all around the world, all from the comfort of your own home. An international specialist will re-evaluate your situation, or that of your family member, so you can feel reassured that you have the right information, diagnosis and treatment plan. You can contact them on +352 437 43 4263 or send an email to BDLuxembourg@bestdoctors.com.