Diabetes – a common disease of the 21st century 1st April 2024 – Tags: , , ,

In recent years, we can see a systematic increase in the incidence of diabetes detection among the Polish population. At this point, the incidence of diabetes is about 6.54%, which is about 2 million people per country’s population. How can we limit the growth of these numbers?

What is diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas fails to produce adequate amounts of insulin, or when the body fails to adequately consume the insulin produced by the body. But what is insulin? It is a hormone that regulates blood glucose levels. This is a disease that occurs in people of all ages, making it difficult to link the symptoms of the disease to its cause. At this point it is an incurable disease, but it can be controlled and lead a normal life. The current treatment for the disease is the administration of insulin in the form of analogs and human insulin. This drug is administered by subcutaneous injection. There are also treatments in the form of medications that mainly work with type II diabetes. Mainly metformin, sulfonylurea derivatives, GLP-1 receptor antagonists and SGLT-2 inhibitors are used.

Main symptoms of diabetes_1
The graphic shows the main symptoms accompanying diabetes.

What are the types of diabetes?

There are two main types of diabetes – type I and type II. However, increasingly, diabetes mellitus is also being added to the division. Below we will give you an overview of the main features and differences of these cases:

  • Type I diabetes:
    • This type of disease is caused by an autoimmune reaction, during which the body stops producing insulin. The immune system of a person with this type of disease attacks and destroys the beta cells of the pancreas, whose function is to produce insulin. It is most often detected in children and young adults, but can occur at any age. A very important aspect with this type is that it is very often a disease with an increased risk of occurrence in future offspring. People with type I diabetes need to take insulin daily in the form of subcutaneous injections.
3D medical animation still of Type One Diabetes
The graphic shows how the lack of insulin affects glucose absorption.
  • Type II diabetes:
    • The main mechanism of this type of disease, is the body’s failure to use enough insulin. By not processing enough of the hormone, the body fails to maintain adequate blood glucose levels. It usually appears in adults, but we are also increasingly seeing cases in teenagers and even children. However, we can control this type of diabetes ourselves and reduce the risk of the disease ourselves. However, once we develop this disease, there are drugs on the pharmaceutical market that allow us to maintain adequate sugar levels , such as metformin.
640px-Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
The graphic shows the mechanism of glucose absorption in type II diabetes (right)
  • Gestational diabetes:
    • This type of disease occurs in pregnant women who have not previously suffered from the disease. Very often, however, this type goes away after the baby is born. However, its appearance during pregnancy puts women at risk of developing type II later. Gestational diabetes also shows effects on the child, such as increased risk of disease, risk of obesity and risk of type II diabetes.
Gestational diabetes increases the risk of obesity in the newborn, and other diseases.

How can we prevent type II diabetes?

Unlike type I diabetes, we can reduce our risk of developing type II diabetes in the following ways:

  • A healthy diet
  • Adding physical activity, even if only 30 minutes a day
  • Taking care to maintain an appropriate weight
  • Managing stress levels
  • Reducing alcohol intake
  • Controlling the right amount of sleep
Studies show that the healthiest diet for our bodies is the Mediterranean diet.