Diabetes mellitus (short: diabetes) is a chronic metabolic disease. It prevents the organism of the affected patient from properly absorbing vital energy from food. The healthy person obtains the sugar (glucose) from the food he consumes. The sugar is then transported via the bloodstream to the body’s cells and can be used there as energy. In order for the glucose to be absorbed by the cells, the pancreas produces the hormone insulin.
What is diabetes explain?
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic metabolic disease characterized by a permanently elevated blood sugar level. It is often also called diabetes. There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is also known as juvenile diabetes and usually begins before the age of 20. The cause is an autoimmune disease, that is, a disease in which the immune system attacks its own body. In type 1 diabetes, the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas are destroyed.
The much more common form, type 2 diabetes, usually only occurs after the age of 30 and is therefore often referred to as adult-onset diabetes. However, young people can also be affected. As a cause, hereditary factors, overweight and sedentary lifestyle play a role.
How many people are affected?
It is estimated that today there are about 415 million people worldwide between the ages of 20 and 79 who suffer from a form of diabetes mellitus. For Germany, it is estimated that the incidence of diabetes is 7%-8%, i.e. more than 7 million people of the population have type 2 diabetes. And the numbers will continue to increase in the coming years. So you can talk about a real widespread disease. The problem is not only the increased blood sugar, but above all concomitant and secondary diseases such as heart attack, stroke or diabetic foot.
The doctor diagnoses diabetes mellitus (type 1, type 2), among other things, on the basis of various blood values (fasting and occasional sugar, oral glucose tolerance test and long-term blood sugar HbA1c). Although diabetes is one of the most common diseases, it can be treated well today. Some diabetes patients nevertheless develop serious complications: if the diabetes disease is not treated or poorly treated for a long period of time, it can damage the blood vessels and nerves.
Typical diabetic complications include heart attacks, strokes, kidney damage, eye complications and circulatory disorders in the legs and feet. For you as a diabetes patient, it is therefore important that blood sugar, blood pressure and blood lipids are set as normally as possible.
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