- Dott.ssa Rosaria
Also this year on 14 November, World Diabetes Day, there will be several initiatives to take stock of the diabetes situation and to create support for all those suffering from this disease. The anniversary was established in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in response to an increase in the number of diagnoses of this disease: the aim is to educate about diabetes prevention and good diabetes management.
WHAT IS DIABETES?
Diabetes is a chronic disease characterised by the presence of high blood glucose levels (hyperglycaemia) and due to an altered amount or function of insulin.
It is divided into two main forms:
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, which means that it results from the immune system mistakenly attacking parts of the body. Since it is an autoimmune disease, type 1 diabetes is not linked to diet, excess weight or lifestyle - elements that we will see are central to type 2 diabetes - and in fact it almost always occurs in childhood or adolescence, and in any case before the age of 30. In this case, the immune system incorrectly targets the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas.
Thus, our body does not recognise the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, which are responsible for dosing blood glucose, preventing them from doing their job properly.
This is why we speak of insulin-dependent type 1 diabetes mellitus, because patients must necessarily follow a therapy involving the administration of insulin.
Unfortunately, it manifests itself in an acute and violent manner, presenting symptoms that cannot be ignored, including:
very frequent need to urinate
heavy, difficult breathing and wheezing.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes worldwide, accounting for about 7% of the population.
Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes occurs late, usually after the age of 40, and has a slow course, which can last for many years.
It is a metabolic disease, with multiple causes, characterised by high blood sugar.
So, it is not a lack of insulin production or an immune response that prevents the pancreas from functioning, but a reduced amount or what is called insulin resistance, which is an inadequate utilisation of glucose by the cells.
When we talk about type 2 diabetes, we are referring to what we call 'alimentary diabetes', which is caused by diet, overweight and obesity, and therefore requires intervention in diet and lifestyle, specific drug therapy and, in some cases, insulin.
Another risk factor is the presence of a family member with type 2 diabetes.
The most frequent symptoms are excessive
frequent need to urinate;
increased frequency of urinary and/or vaginal infections.
Type 2 diabetes has a long asymptomatic phase during which the disease can only be diagnosed through a screening procedure.
It is therefore time to schedule a very simple check-up that will allow you to highlight the risk factors for those who are not diabetic, or for those who already know they are diabetic can highlight some important factors for correctly following the therapy prescribed by a diabetologist.
Improving one's eating habits and taking moderate physical activity are always excellent allies in avoiding diabetes-related illnesses and in improving the quality of life that can be achieved with good management.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)