Diabetes describes a group of metabolic disorders whose main characteristic is hyperglycemia, or an increased level of glucose (sugar) in blood. A disordered metabolism of the glucose can occur due to deficient effect of the insulin, which is a consequence of disorder in excretion of it or a disorder of its effect – or a combination of both. In accordance with an unhealthy lifestyle which implies low quality diet, lack of physical activity, stress and longer life span – the epidemiology of diabetes shows same trends. In the last decade there is a trend of increase in frequency of patients suffering from diabetes and statistical predictions state that in the next 15 years this frequency will be increased for at least 50%. Devastating data doesn’t only come with an increase in the number of patients suffering from diabetes, yet that younger age groups are also being affected.
An extremely important step in battling against diabetes is prevention – population needs to be well educated about principles of the disease, early signs of diabetes, possibilities of treatment and preventing complications. If the patient responds in time and starts with therapy, diabetes can be extremely well controlled and any symptoms or complications postponed and even stopped.
Common symptoms of diabetes are as follows:
- Polydipsia (increased thirst and fluid intake)
- Involuntary changes in body mass
- Slow healing of wounds
- Transient blurring of vision
- Malaise, fatigue
- …and more.
One of the main characteristics of diabetes is being painless, which makes it even more dangerous – a “silent killer” of your health. Since many of the symptoms appear gradually and are weak in intensity, patients usually do not respond to them in time, yet tend to contact their doctor when there is damage already done to the organism by a higher concentration of sugar in blood. Because of this, there are guidelines to determine risk factors, making people recognize their own living habits or some characteristics of their cardiovascular system to go and check their possible diabetes diagnosis with the doctor. To start with, lack of physical activity is one of the biggest issues here, with family anamnesis coming in at a close second. Hypertension also needs to be addressed, which is a blood pressure higher than 140/90 mmHg. Cardiovascular conditions are especially important to acknowledge, along with gestational diabetes.
In a case where these criteria are missing, the first test needs to be done after 45 years of age. In case the results are negative, the test should be repeated in three years intervals, if symptoms start to appear or the patient makes some changes for the worse in terms of medical health. If the disease is diagnosed, it’s important to start soon with following through of the diabetic diet plan, which takes into account the recommended daily calorie intake as well as nutrients ratio. Physical activity is crucial to battle diabetes and it’s recommended, but care is required, especially if the patient suffers from obesity as well. About 30 minutes of intensive workout, 5 days per week is recommended.