Several decades ago, the World Health Organization said diabetes was not a very common disease in both developing and developed countries. Times have certainly changed. Today, there is an estimated 143+ million people who have it, and the number is suspected to rise to more than 220 million people in 2020 if the trend continues as it has been.
In just the U.S., 6.3 percent of people (or 18.2 million individuals) are living with the condition. Another 13 million people are diagnosed with the disease. However, 5.2 million people have no idea that they have it. For developed countries, the majority of people with diabetes are over the age of 60. For developing countries, on the other hand, people in their prime are afflicted with the disease.
It’s important that you understand what diabetes is so that you can live a healthier lifestyle and avoid being diagnosed with it (if possible).
A Better Understanding Of What Diabetes Is
The scientific name for diabetes is Diabetes Mellitus, which comes from the Greek word “Diabeinein,” which means to pass through. Think constant urination. The world Mellitus derives from the Latin language, which means “sweetened with honey. Both words are describing sugar in the urine.
When a person has diabetes, it means their body is unable to produce or properly make use of insulin. This is a hormone that the body needs to control sugar, starch and other foods that transform into glucose the body needs for energy.
The pancreas is the organ that produces and releases insulin into the blood – to ensure blood sugar levels stay in a normal range. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the normal range of blood sugar is 60-100mg (before eating and known as the Fasting Blood Glucose). Although there are many demands for glucose in various situations, the level hardly ever surpasses this level.
After eating food, the liver will store the food’s glucose as glycogen, releasing into the blood supply between meal times. Insulin’s role is to control the storage and release the glucose. This makes sure the amount of glucose in the body will not exceed or fall below the accepted range.
The WHO agency has listed five classifications of diabetes:
• Bronze Diabetes
• Diabetes Insipidus
• Gestational Diabetes
• Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM) – Type 1 Diabetes
• Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus – Type 2 Diabetes