November is Diabetes Awareness Month (incidentally, it is also the Lung Cancer Awareness Month) and this year, November 14th is the World Diabetes Day.
Diabetes, or originally Diabetes Mellitus derived it's name from the sweet taste of urine that was used as a diagnostic by the Romans. As a disease, it is no stranger to human civilization and has afflicted humans for a while now.
Type 1: As an autoimmune disease, Diabetes Type I, is inherently a disease where the body simply cannot produce insulin via the "islets of Langerhans" thus unable to produce enough energy needed for subsistence. This disease is more prevalent in young children and in adults. Through insulin therapies, this disease can be managed, but is debilitating nevertheless.
Type 2: Diabetes Type 2, typically has an adult onset. In this condition, the body is simply unable to produce enough insulin to convert sugar into energy, or the cells do not use the insulin as expected. Type 2 is the more prevalent form, has been diagnosed in 24 million Americans (an estimate upped form 21 million) and is expected to afflict more people, who are probably simply unaware of it. In countries like India, and among Indians everywhere it has reached epidemic proportions as well.
Some of the causes include unhealthy life styles, eating and working habits and so on. People with rice based diets of Asian origin appear to be afflicted by this disease more often.
Type 3: Is there a type 3? New research has shown that a certain number of children with Type 1 Diabetes also show tendencies for Diabetes Type 2. This is a risky condition and thus, even though it has been statistically delineated, has been assigned it's own category. The "double diabetes" as it is known is attributed to patients being overweight and a general lack of awareness.
Apart from this, gestational diabetes refers to the onset of diabetes during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes may then prolong throughout the mother's lifetime and can become Type 2 diabetes at that point.
The biggest gap, when it comes to diabetes stems form a lack of awareness. Diabetes would be diagnosed in a lot more people if only they were made aware of diabetes and the symptoms and the predispositions.
One has to remember that people with diabetes Type 2 may not even have the symptoms sometimes. Please refer to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) website for a list of symptoms to watch out for either type of diabetes:
You should consider taking a Diabetes Risk Test:
The World Diabetes Day website also lists some risk factors:
You should also look at some of the warning signs here:
My friends at TuDiabetes ( http://www.tudiabetes.org ) a non-profit organization focused on Diabetes Awareness, Actions and other Campaigns have a video for you!