Introduction to Diabetes
Diabetes is a collection of metabolic disorders that result in high amounts of sugar in the blood. Elevated blood sugar is known as hyperglycemia and is the key element in the diagnosis of Diabetes. The main forms of diabetes include type 1, type 2, and gestational. Some forms of diabetes can be cured or prevented with lifestyle changes such as early stage type 2, while others are chronic such as type 1.
Diabetes occurs either due to lack of insulin being produced by the pancreas or lack of the body’s response to insulin. Glucose, which is a form of sugar that is used as energy by the body, cannot enter the cell without insulin. Thus when insulin is not being used or produced properly the sugar stays in the blood stream causing high blood sugar. Chronic elevations in blood sugar over time lead to complications in the vascular systems of the kidneys, heart, eye, feet, nerves, and significantly increases risk for heart disease and stroke.
A condition that occurs due to a dysfunction in one or many of the pathways that control metabolism. Metabolic pathways control the ways in which the body produces energy and eliminates waste.
Sugar molecule created by the breakdown of carbohydrates that is used for fuel in the body. Carbohydrates are the preferred source of energy in the body since they can be converted in glucose quickly, but are not the only source. When carbohydrate intake is low the body creates energy from other sources such as fat or protein, but this process takes more effort.
a hormone that transports glucose into the cells. The common analogy used to describe this process is that insulin is the key that unlocks the cell to let the glucose enter the cell. Without insulin glucose stays in the blood stream, resulting in high blood sugar.
Glucose is stored as in body as glycogen. Glycogen is mainly produced and stored in the liver, although it may also be found in muscle cells. Glycogen acts as a backup reserve for when the amount of glucose in the body is low and the body needs energy. This occurs mostly after long periods of exercise or fasting. The glycogen stored in muscles are converted into glucose for the muscles cells to use as energy, while the glycogen in the liver is use thought the entire body.
A high amount of sugar in the blood. When the sugar is in the blood and not in the cells there is an imbalance that causes several unwanted short and long term symptoms. In addition when the glucose cannot enter the cell it causes the body to search for other sources of energy. Once glucose that has been stored in the liver is depleted the body will breakdown muscle and fat for energy.
While there is a genetic link to diabetes, there are no genetic test for diabetes
Global Estimates And Prevalence Of Diabetes
Diabetes is considered an epidemic due to the fact that the number of people diagnosed with DM is steadily growing each year. It is now estimated that about 1 in 10 people in the United States have Diabetes, which is almost doubled from 15 years ago. Making Diabetes not only the most common endocrine disorder, but one of the most common diseases. Diabetes is also one of the top 10 leading causes of death. Even worse, the CDC is now predicting that 1 in 3 Americans will have Diabetes by 2050. According to the CDC the worldwide diabetic population accounts for 4.4% of the population.
The Projected Prevalence for 2030 according to Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice says “Between 2010 and 2030, there will be a 69% increase in numbers of adults with diabetes in developing countries and a 20% increase in developed countries.”
Diabetes used to be a disease that was associated with older patients (excluding type 1, which classically presents in youth) but tragically has been growing rapidly in the younger generations due to unhealthy life choices. Nearly 30% of people over 65yrs are diagnosed with Diabetes, while 10-11% of the younger population is diagnosed with Diabetes.
Ethnicities at highest prevalence
Highest risk groups for Diabetes are Hispanic, Black, and American Indian. Asian and white communities have lower risk.
Effects of Diabetes
Diabetes not only is a leading cause of death on its own merit, but also increases the chances of getting other life threatening diseases such as kidney disease, stroke, and heart disorders. As a result, the majority of people with Diabetes die from either heart disease or stroke. Diabetes leads to complications of many body systems and is the leading cause of new onset blindness and lower limb amputations