Diabetes mellitus, commonly known as diabetes, is a metabolic disease characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. As of 2014, about 387 million people worldwide suffered from diabetes.
Diabetes occurs when the pancreas is either not producing enough insulin or the cells are not able to respond properly to the insulin produced. There are three main types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes: Also known as juvenile diabetes, it occurs when the pancreas is not able to produce enough insulin.
It is considered an autoimmune disease. Factors that increase the risk of Type 1 diabetes are family history, exposure to viral illnesses, the presence of damaging immune system cells in the body, and low vitamin D levels.
Type 2 diabetes: This is the most common type of diabetes and occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to regulate the blood sugar or the cells are not able to use the insulin properly.
Obesity, an inactive lifestyle, family history, aging, history of gestational diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, high blood pressure, and abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels are some common risk factors for this type of diabetes.
Gestational diabetes: This occurs during or after pregnancy without any prior history of diabetes. Women older than age 25 and those who are African-American, Hispanic, American Indian or Asian are at a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes.
Family or personal history of this type of diabetes and obesity also increase a person’s risk.
As of 2014, about 90 percent of diabetic people had Type 2 diabetes, representing 8.3 percent of the adult population. Both women and men suffer from Type 2 diabetes equally.
Diabetes is often called a silent killer because of its easy-to-miss symptoms. Most often, people do not even know that they have diabetes as early symptoms sometimes seem harmless.
Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent serious complications, which include cardiovascular disease, nerve damage, kidney damage, eye damage, foot damage, skin problems and pregnancy complications.
Here are the top 10 early warning signs of diabetes you should not ignore. continue reading on the next page