Diabetes is a chronic metabolic condition, in which the patient’s glucose levels are high in the blood.
Insulin is the hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates blood glucose levels. A person with diabetes can find himself in two scenarios: in the first, the pancreas produces little insulin; in the second, the pancreas does not produce insulin.
In the two previous cases, we are dealing with a person with diabetes.
Types of diabetes
There are three types of diabetes:
- Type I, called juvenile or insulin dependent. In this case, the pancreas does NOT produce insulin to counteract the energy that food provides. Those who suffer from this type of diabetes must inject insulin externally to regulate their blood sugar levels.
- Type II. In this type of diabetes, the pancreas DOES NOT PRODUCE ENOUGH insulin. It is related to eating habits and obesity. In these cases, the treating doctor may prescribe pills, exercise, and a diet.
- Gestational. It is the one that occurs, in some cases, when the woman is pregnant. In this type of diabetes, the patient will be given a specific diet for the duration of her condition.
Some data from the Pan American Health Organization about diabetes are:
● It is estimated that 422 million people suffer from diabetes in the world.
● In America, 62 million people have type II diabetes.
● Each year, more than 240,000 deaths are related to diabetes.
● It is estimated that by 2040, about 109 million people will have diabetes in America.
● Diabetes triggers other diseases such as glaucoma, kidney failure, heart failure and lower extremity amputation.
● The main risk factors for type II diabetes are overweight and obesity.
● In America, overweight is greater than in the rest of the world.
● Type II diabetes can be prevented by eating a balanced diet, regular exercise, cutting down on alcohol, and avoiding cigarettes.
● In the United States, about 5% of people with diabetes are type I.
● About 96 million adults, ages 18 and older, are considered prediabetic.
● There is an increased risk of type I diabetes if this condition runs in the family.