Key facts –
The number of people with diabetes rose from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. Prevalence has been rising more rapidly in low- and middle-income countries than in high-income countries. Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation. Between 2000 and 2019, there was a 3% increase in diabetes mortality rates by age. In 2019, diabetes and kidney disease due to diabetes caused an estimated 2 million deaths. A healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco use are ways to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes can be treated and its consequences avoided or delayed with diet, physical activity, medication and regular screening and treatment for complications.
What is diabetes and why is it dangerous?
With diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use it as well as it should. Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy. Your body breaks down most of the food you eat into sugar (glucose) and releases it into your bloodstream.
When your blood sugar goes up, it signals your pancreas to release insulin. Insulin acts like a key to let the blood sugar into your body’s cells for use as energy. With diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use it as well as it should. When there isn’t enough insulin or cells stop responding to insulin, too much blood sugar stays in your bloodstream.
Over time, that can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease, There isn’t a cure yet for diabetes, but losing weight, eating healthy food, and being active can really help. Other things you can do to help:
Take medicine as prescribed. Get diabetes self-management education and support. Make and keep health care appointments.
More than 37 million US adults have diabetes, and 1 in 5 of them don’t know they have it. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is the No.1 cause of kidney failure, lower-limb amputations, and adult blindness. In the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled,
What happens when diabetes goes untreated?
Complications of Diabetes If type 2 diabetes goes untreated, the high blood sugar can affect various cells and organs in the body. Complications include kidney damage, often leading to dialysis, eye damage, which could result in blindness, or an increased risk for heart disease or stroke.
Why does diabetes cause damage?
Diabetes – long-term effects
The long-term effects of diabetes include damage to large and small blood vessels, which can lead to heart attack and stroke, and problems with the kidneys, eyes, feet and nerves.The good news is that the risk of long-term effects of diabetes can be reduced. Regular screening is important to detect diabetes-related health problems early. It’s also important to keep your waist measurement, blood pressure, blood glucose levels, HbA1c and cholesterol within recommended ranges.It’s very important that you don’t smoke if you have diabetes as it increases the likelihood of health problems.
Diabetes is a condition in which there is too much glucose (a type of sugar) in the blood. Over time, high blood glucose levels can damage the body’s organs. Possible long-term effects include damage to large (macrovascular) and small (microvascular) blood vessels, which can lead to heart attack, stroke, and problems with the kidneys, eyes, gums, feet and nerves.
Why can’t you get rid of diabetes?
We talk of remission and not a cure because it isn’t permanent. The beta cells have been damaged and the underlying genetic factors contributing to the person’s susceptibility to diabetes remain intact. Over time the disease process reasserts itself and continued destruction of the beta cells ensues.
Why do diabetics have weak legs?
Risk factors – Anyone who has diabetes can develop neuropathy. But these risk factors make nerve damage more likely:
Poor blood sugar control. Uncontrolled blood sugar increases the risk of every diabetes complication, including nerve damage. Diabetes history. The risk of diabetic neuropathy increases the longer a person has diabetes, especially if blood sugar isn’t well controlled. Kidney disease. Diabetes can damage the kidneys. Kidney damage sends toxins into the blood, which can lead to nerve damage. Being overweight. Having a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or more may increase the risk of diabetic neuropathy. Smoking. Smoking narrows and hardens the arteries, reducing blood flow to the legs and feet. This makes it more difficult for wounds to heal and damages the peripheral nerves.