On This ‘World Diabetes Day’ Know About Type 2 Diabetes

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Diabetesmagazijn.nl/Unsplash
  • The number of Type 2 diabetics has risen in seafarer populations, endangering their health and well-being.
  • Type 1 diabetes is incurable, and those who have it require insulin injections to live.
  • Making healthy choices today may prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes later in life for those at risk.

Diabetes has nearly quadrupled since 1980, and the number is growing year by year. According to the WHO, a healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight, and avoiding tobacco use can prevent a large percentage of Type 2 diabetes.  

World Diabetes day

The condition’s prevalence has risen in seafarer populations, endangering their health and well-being. 

The 14th of November is World Diabetes Day, a reminder to check your risk factors and take preventive measures.

About the disease

Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the body struggles to metabolize glucose due to a lack of insulin or an inability to use the insulin that is produced. 

Insulin is a pancreatic hormone that allows glucose to enter cells and serve as an energy source. 

If insulin is absent or insufficient, sugar accumulates in the blood, resulting in high blood sugar. 

Over time, high blood sugar damages many of the body’s organs, resulting in disabling and life-threatening health complications such as kidney failure, heart disease, nerve damage, eye disease resulting in visual loss, increased risk of leg ulcers, and impaired wound healing.

Diabetes is also known to be a risk factor for COVID-19 related hospitalization.

According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), an estimated 537 million adults aged 20-79 years have diabetes, accounting for more than one-tenth of all people. 

The IDF predicts that number will rise to 643 million by 2030.

Types

Diabetes is classified as Type 1, Type 2, or gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy).

Type 1 diabetes is the most common in children, but it can occur at any age. Type 1 diabetes is incurable, and those who have it require insulin injections to live.

The vast majority (over 90%) of diabetes worldwide is type 2 diabetes. 

Insulin resistance characterizes type 2 diabetes, in which the body does not fully respond to insulin. 

Because insulin cannot function properly, blood glucose levels rise, causing more insulin to be released. 

This can eventually exhaust the pancreas, resulting in the body producing less and less insulin, causing even higher blood sugar levels in some people with type 2 diabetes. 

Risk factors

Type 2 diabetes is often initially managed through exercise and diet. 

Although most people will eventually require oral medications and/or insulin, a healthy lifestyle will remain an important part of the diabetes management plan.

The IDF lists the following risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes:

  • Family history of diabetes
  • Weight gain
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Increasing age
  • High blood pressure
  • Ethnicity
  • Impaired glucose tolerance – (higher than normal blood glucose but below the threshold for diagnosing diabetes)

The IDF has developed a simple to use type 2 risk assessment tool that aims to predict an individual’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes within the next ten years.

Prevention 

Some risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, such as family history, cannot be altered. 

According to the IDF, research shows that for those with risk factors, a healthy diet and 30-45 minutes of physical activity three to five days a week could prevent the majority of cases.

IDF dietary recommendations for the general population:

  • Choosing water, coffee or tea instead of fruit juice, soda, or other sugar sweetened beverages.
  • Eating at least three servings of vegetables every day, including green leafy vegetables.
  • Eating up to three servings of fresh fruit every day.
  • Choosing nuts, a piece of fresh fruit, or unsweetened yogurt for a snack.
  • Limiting alcohol intake to a maximum of two standard drinks per day.
  • Choosing lean cuts of white meat, poultry or seafood instead of red or processed meat.
  • Choosing peanut butter instead of chocolate spread or jam.
  • Choosing whole-grain bread, rice, or pasta instead of white bread, rice, or pasta.
  • Choosing unsaturated fats (olive oil, canola oil, corn oil, or sunflower oil) instead of saturated fats (butter, ghee, animal fat, coconut oil or palm oil.

Consumption of high sugar foods, particularly sugar-sweetened beverages, poses a particular threat in terms of the associated risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Making healthy choices today may prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes later in life for those at risk.

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Source: Gard

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