Type 2 diabetes is a serious disease that it is not always easy to diagnose and can be tricky to control. Since it is not always noticeably manifested and easily diagnosed, there are so many people suffering from this disorder without even realizing it. Thus, prediabetes which is characterized by high sugar levels (although not so high to be type 2 diabetes) has generally no symptoms and signs. At the same time, when diabetes is already diagnosed, the responsibility for the well-being of the patient lies mainly on the patient himself. Diabetes requires constant control, attention, and a special lifestyle.
This condition primarily occurs as a result of lack of exercise and obesity. It is a chronic condition that develops due to absolute or relative insufficiency of insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. When there is insulin deficiency or insulin resistance (in which the tissues fail to respond normally to insulin), the level of blood glucose gets high and that becomes dangerous for almost all body systems. However, type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed through regular exercise and proper nutrition. Intensive lifestyle changes may even reduce the risk of developing this condition by over half.
According to the WHO, about 8.5% of adults had diabetes in 2014, and in 2015 diabetes was associated with 1.6 million deaths. The prevalence of this disease has been increasing rapidly all over the world. Diabetes is dangerous because of the complications it provokes that affect all body organs and systems – the kidneys, heart, eyes, blood vessels, etc. The main manifestations of high blood glucose levels caused by diabetes include:
- Visual impairment, including blindness, associated with diabetic retinopathy
- Headaches and neurologic abnormalities
- Enlargement of the liver, pain in the heart
- Pains and numbness in the lower extremities that can cause walking problems
- Decreased skin sensitivity, especially in the feet
- Ulcers and wounds that do not heal for long periods of time
- Progressing increase in blood pressure
- Increased risks for ischemic heart disease and stroke
- Kidney failure
The development of characteristic symptoms of diabetes and its complications is a serious alarm signal that indicates the progression of the disease or insufficient control of the patient’s condition.