Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects how your body processes glucose, the main source of energy for your cells. Diabetes can cause serious complications, such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness, and amputation. However, diabetes can also be prevented, managed, and treated with proper care and education. In this article, we will explain the types, causes, symptoms, and treatments of diabetes, and provide some facts and figures related to this global health issue.
Types of Diabetes
There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. They have different causes and characteristics, but both result in high blood glucose levels that can damage your organs and tissues.
- Type 1 diabetes: This type occurs when your immune system attacks and destroys the cells in your pancreas that produce insulin, a hormone that helps your cells use glucose. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin injections or use an insulin pump to survive. Type 1 diabetes usually develops in childhood or adolescence, but can occur at any age. It affects about 5% of people with diabetes.
- Type 2 diabetes: This type occurs when your cells become resistant to the effects of insulin, or your pancreas does not produce enough insulin to keep your blood glucose levels normal. People with type 2 diabetes may need to take oral medications, injectable medications, or insulin to control their blood glucose levels. Type 2 diabetes usually develops in adulthood, but can also affect children and adolescents. It is linked to obesity, physical inactivity, family history, and other factors. It affects about 90% of people with diabetes.
There are also other less common types of diabetes, such as gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy, and monogenic diabetes, which is caused by genetic mutations.
Causes of Diabetes
The exact causes of diabetes are not fully understood, but they involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some of the factors that can increase your risk of developing diabetes are:
- Family history: Having a parent or sibling with diabetes can increase your risk of developing the same type of diabetes.
- Ethnicity: Certain ethnic groups, such as African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders, have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Age: The risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases with age, especially after 45 years.
- Weight: Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, as excess fat can impair your insulin sensitivity and secretion.
- Lifestyle: Having an unhealthy diet, being physically inactive, smoking, drinking alcohol, or having high blood pressure or high cholesterol can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Pregnancy: Having gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
- Medications: Taking certain medications, such as steroids, antipsychotics, or HIV drugs, can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Symptoms of Diabetes
The symptoms of diabetes may vary depending on the type and severity of the condition. Some of the common symptoms are:
- Increased thirst and urination
- Increased hunger and weight loss
- Fatigue and weakness
- Blurred vision and headaches
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- Slow healing of wounds or infections
- Dry skin and itching
Some people with type 2 diabetes may not have any symptoms until they develop complications, such as heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, or eye damage. Therefore, it is important to get tested for diabetes if you have any risk factors or symptoms.
Treatments of Diabetes
There is no cure for diabetes, but it can be controlled with proper treatment and care. The main goals of diabetes treatment are to keep your blood glucose levels within a healthy range, prevent or delay complications, and improve your quality of life. The treatment of diabetes may include:
- Medications: Depending on the type and severity of your diabetes, you may need to take oral medications, injectable medications, or insulin to lower your blood glucose levels. You may also need to take medications to lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, or other risk factors.
- Diet: Eating a balanced and nutritious diet can help you manage your blood glucose levels, weight, and overall health. You may need to follow a specific meal plan, count carbohydrates, or limit certain foods. You may also need to consult a dietitian or a diabetes educator for guidance.
- Exercise: Being physically active can help you lower your blood glucose levels, improve your insulin sensitivity, lose weight, and reduce your risk of complications. You may need to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise and strength training per week. You may also need to monitor your blood glucose levels before, during, and after exercise.
- Self-monitoring: Checking your blood glucose levels regularly can help you adjust your medications, diet, and exercise accordingly. You may need to use a glucose meter, a continuous glucose monitor, or an insulin pump to measure your blood glucose levels. You may also need to keep a record of your results and share them with your healthcare team.
- Education: Learning about diabetes and how to manage it can help you cope with the condition and prevent or delay complications. You may need to attend diabetes education programs, join support groups, or use online resources to get information and support.
Facts and Figures Related to Diabetes
Here are some facts and figures related to diabetes that you can use in your article to support your arguments or provide some context:
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are currently 2,955,200 registered nurses in the United States, with a projected growth of 7% between 2019 and 2029.
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are approximately 27 million nurses and midwives in the world, accounting for nearly 50% of the global health workforce. However, there is a global shortage of health workers, in particular nurses and midwives, who represent more than 50% of the current shortage in health workers.
- According to the Royal College of Nursing, new figures from UCAS show an 8% fall in applications to UK nursing programmes between 2021 and 2022. This is a real cause for concern amid a workforce crisis, which is compromising safe patient care.
- According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, U.S. nursing schools turned away 91,938 qualified applications from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2021 due to insufficient number of faculty, clinical sites, classroom space, and clinical preceptors.
- According to Indeed, a good application essay for nursing school admission should be between 500 and 750 words long, have a clear structure, and address the following topics: why you want to be a nurse, why you chose the specific nursing program, and what are your career goals.
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of people with diabetes rose from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. The prevalence of diabetes has been rising more rapidly in low- and middle-income countries than in high-income countries.
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), diabetes is the eighth leading cause of death in the world and the fourth leading cause of death in low- and middle-income countries. In 2019, diabetes and kidney disease due to diabetes caused an estimated 2 million deaths.
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), diabetes is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, blindness, lower limb amputation, and other complications. Diabetes also increases the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19.
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), diabetes can be prevented or delayed by adopting a healthy lifestyle, such as maintaining a normal body weight, eating a balanced diet, being physically active, avoiding tobacco use, and limiting alcohol consumption.
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), diabetes can be diagnosed and treated with affordable and effective interventions, such as blood glucose testing, oral medications, insulin, and self-care education. However, many people with diabetes lack access to these essential services and medicines, especially in low- and middle-income countries.