Diabetes, A Sickness That Is Turning Into A Global Epidemic
A deficiency of insulin production causes diabetes. The number of deaths caused by diabetes and the number of people diagnosed with diabetes is continuously growing around the world. The OECD says there are three hundred sixty-six million diabetics worldwide of which there are twenty-six million people in the United States and 60 million in Europe. Experts are concerned that if no specific measures are taken, a diabetes epidemic can spread in any country.
Damages Caused By Diabetes
The symptoms of diabetes can include the need to urinate frequently, unnatural thirst, fatigue, excessive hunger, weight loss, jitters, mood swings, nausea and vomiting. And it can be worse with more complicated and dangerous symptoms such as leg pain, a delayed healing process of wounds, frequent cases of infections on the skin and/or mucous membranes, blurred vision and death, bleedings through the eyes or loss of hair, muscle weakness, digestive disorders, local pain, disturbances of equilibrium, excessive sweating, low blood pressure and impotence. In some cases, the sickness does not show symptoms, which can make it even more dangerous for the sick person.
Diabetic patients may also be affected by heart failure independent of coronary heart diseases and strokes. High glucose levels in the blood lead to increased deposits of fatty materials in the blood vessels which may affect blood flow, increasing the risk of clogged blood vessels. In case of injuries, if not treated well, diabetes can lead to complications and in the worst case, the patient may have to have amputate a limb. The sickness is even more dangerous for smokers, patients that don’t exercise and those who are obese. Diabetic people may also suffer from discrimination at work or school, making life with this sickness much harder.
One of the dramatic cases where diabetes had fatal consequences was Mr. Bill Hall, a 64 year old patient. He fought against the disease but with time the sickness defeated him. Mr. Bill’s leg had to be amputated and after his kidneys failed, he died of heart failure brought on by diabetes.
Before developing diabetes, more specifically diabetes type 2, most of the people affected have prediabetes, which is when the blood glucose levels are higher than usual but the patient does not classify as a diabetic yet. Seventy-nine million people have been diagnosed with prediabetes in the United States. Even though prediabetes is not considered diabetes yet, it causes long-term damage in many patients.
What Needs To Be Done
All of us, especially people older than forty years of age, should take the necessary precautions and do the corresponding exams, as only an early diagnosis of this sickness allows a successful treatment. It is equally important for people to learn how to prevent the occurrence of diabetes, such as by exercising regularly and focusing on eating less carbohydrates. This can be achieved through awareness-raising campaigns in all media and even in schools, as all age groups are affected and the sooner this topic receives the necessary public attention, the better. Once affected by diabetes, patients must understand their disease and learn to deal with it and have an adequate and appropriate lifestyle that will extend their life expectancy.
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