It is estimated that everyone in the world knows at least one person with diabetes. In developed countries, most of the diabetics are aware of their condition. However, in developing countries, a big percentage of those suffering from this condition are not diagnosed. Limited medical capacity and inadequate campaign for creating awareness among the people are the major reasons for low rate of diagnosis.
Causes of Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease wherein the insulin producing cells in the pancreas are attacked by the body’s immune system. Unavoidable viral infections and environmental factors are also the causative agents of diabetes. According to medical statistics, type 1 diabetes is more common to men than in women.
Type 2 diabetes has a genetic connection; it runs from generation to generation. Obesity, high fat diet, high blood triglyceride levels, and high alcohol intake are the major causes of type 2 diabetes. Increasing age is also a considerable risk factor for this type. Risk begins to rise at the age of 45 years and increases significantly at the age of 65 years.
Symptoms of Diabetes
Symptoms of type 1 diabetes are often vivid, and it comes suddenly. It is usually recognized at childhood or early adolescence. This is identified through urinary injuries where the patient experiences pain while urinating.
Type 2 diabetes is more dangerous than type 1. The symptoms are always subtle and may be attributed to aging or being overweight. Due to incomplete combustion of food, the body starts metabolizing the fat as a source of fuel; this process consumes more energy than normal and hence the patient feels tired too often. This is also the reason for losing weight in diabetic patients despite having appropriate intake of food; the other reason being losing of water and sugar in the urine.
Long Term Effects
Diabetes causes the sugar levels in the blood to go up, which in turn, damages the patient’s nerves and blood vessels. As a result of this, the nerves will not be able to send the feeling, sensation or any other signal to the brain, thus causing the affected body part (usually legs or feet) to go numb. Due to this, it is even possible that the patient may continue walking with a sore, wound or other damage on the feet without feeling the pain.
This in the long run can lead to something known as Charcot foot that can cause the affected foot to become deformed. To avoid this problem, diabetic patients should check thier feet every day. If there is any swelling or redness in the foot, they should immediately consult the doctor. Even otherwise, you should get your feet checked up by a doctor at least once in a year.