Age And Diabetes Risk

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Diabetes means a disease where people have too much sugar in their blood. The three main types of diabetes are type 1 diabetes , type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease results when the body’s system for fighting infection (the immune system) turns against a part of the body. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes usually develop over a short period, although beta cell destruction can begin years earlier. Symptoms include increased thirst and urination, constant hunger, weight loss, blurred vision, and extreme fatigue. The most common form of diabetes is type 2 diabetes. About 90 to 95 percent of people with diabetes have type 2. This form of diabetes is associated with older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, previous history of gestational diabetes, physical inactivity, and ethnicity. About 80 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight. The symptoms of type 2 diabetes develop gradually. Symptoms may include fatigue or nausea, frequent urination, unusual thirst, weight loss, blurred vision, frequent infections, and slow healing of wounds or sores.

Diabetes is not contagious. People cannot “catch” it from each other. About 3 to 8 percent of pregnant women in the United States develop gestational diabetes. The cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles. There are 20.8 million children in the United States, or 7% of the population, who have diabetes. While an estimated 14.6 million have been diagnosed with diabetes, unfortunately, 6.2 million people (or nearly one-third) are unaware that they have the disease. Diabetes mellitus is a disease where people have too much glucose (a kind of sugar) in the blood. Glucose level in the blood is controlled by several hormones. Hormones are chemicals in your body that send messages from cells to other cells. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas. Diabetes is likely to be underreported as the underlying cause of death on death certificates. About 65 percent of deaths among those with diabetes are attributed to heart disease and stroke.

Obesity is the single most important risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Between 80% and 90% of people with diabetes are overweight–that means they weigh at least 20% more than the ideal body weight for their height and build. More than 40 percent of people with diabetes have abnormal levels of cholesterol and similar fatty substances that circulate in the blood. These abnormalities appear to be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease among persons with diabetes. Nearly 40 percent of the women who have diabetes during their pregnancy go on to develop type 2 diabetes later, usually within five to ten years of giving birth. Diabetes prevalence in the United States is likely to increase for several reasons. First, a large segment of the population is aging. Education is important for both types of diabetes. Diabetics must learn about diet. Diabetics must also be careful about exercise. Exercise is important to stay healthy. High Cholesterol or other fats in the blood and Impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose can precede the development of type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes Treatment Tips

1. Medicines, diet, and exercise to control blood sugar and prevent symptoms and complications.

2. Type 1 diabetes mellitus is treated with insulin, exercise, and a healthy diet.

3. Type 2 diabetes mellitus is first treated with weight reduction, a healthy diet and regular exercise.

4. Gestational diabetes is treated with insulin and changes in diet.

5. Alcohol use Try to have no more than 7 alcoholic drinks in a week and never more than 2-3 in an evening.

6. Smoking: If you have diabetes, and you smoke cigarettes or use any other form of tobacco, you are raising your risks markedly for nearly all of the complications of diabetes.

7. Diet: A healthy diet is key to controlling blood sugar levels and preventing diabetes complications.

8. Drink extra fluids that do not contain sugar before, during, and after exercise.

Juliet Cohen writes articles on diseases and conditions and women health care. More information on health related topics visit our site at