There is little doubt that we will be hearing more and more about diabetes over the next 20 or 30 years, with the World Health Organization forecasting it will become the third-largest killer in the future. There are approximately 340 million people around the world who have been diagnosed with diabetes and tens of millions more who are currently living with the condition in blissful ignorance.
Some surveys suggest that 1 in 3 Americans will be impacted, either directly or indirectly, by diabetes over the next 20 years. Diabetes certainly is a subject of which we all need to be aware.
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes relates to the body’s ability to absorb glucose, which is used to fuel the body and its various functions. Type 1 diabetes is the condition whereby the pancreas is unable to create enough insulin to absorb blood glucose, leaving dangerously high glucose levels in the body.
Type 2 diabetes is a situation where the body is unable to efficiently use insulin created by the pancreas due to a deficiency of the immune system and “insulin resistance.”
There are a number of medical side effects, such as stroke, heart attack, amputation and even death. Overall, however, there is no reason why diabetes should be a life-threatening condition. There are more than enough treatments and support networks available to allow individuals to efficiently manage diabetes and live a full and fruitful life.
Coping With Diabetes
There are a number of ways in which we can look at diabetes and its potential problems, both medically and mentally. There are hundreds of thousands of websites offering advice and practical issues and day-to-day management of your diabetes. But for many, the first battle that needs to be won is in the mind.
It is inconceivable that somebody recently diagnosed with diabetes will not be concerned, will not be stressed and will not have a number of questions they will need answered. These factors themselves can lead to an array of other general health and mental health issues that can make a difficult situation even worse. A number of research programs have shown that insomnia, stress, depression and high blood pressure are issues that can worsen diabetes and bring on potentially life-threatening situations.
Coming to Terms
There are many truths, untruths, rumors and downright incorrect advice about diabetes. But when you strip away the outer surface, the fact is that diabetes is a manageable condition and should, in theory, not be life-threatening. When individuals realize this, they can then try to get their mind in order about it.
If individuals have questions, they need to ask them. If they have problems, they need to address them. The bottom line is there are more than enough support networks out there as well as medical advisers and websites for assistance. There is no reason to suffer from prolonged stress, prolonged high blood pressure and prolonged insomnia.
Aside from the mental issues that need to be addressed when diagnosed with diabetes, there are a number of small life tweaks to be made, including a change of diet, more exercise and a more healthy standard of living. Even for those not diagnosed with diabetes, those tweaks could be lifesavers.
Dramatic life changes may not be necessary, and there’s little reason individuals cannot lead full and active lives. Diabetes does not mean the end to adventures and quests. Those who are currently living with diabetes but unaware of their condition are the people we need to be concerned about. There is growing pressure on governments around the world to improve screening and diagnosis of diabetes.
While diabetes is a medical condition that is connected to the body’s immune system, it is a medical condition that is manageable and does not need to be life threatening. For many, medication will become a part of their everyday life, including insulin injections. But there will also be a need to improve diet, an exercise regime and a full awareness of the situation.
Very often we concentrate upon medical treatments and medicines when, in reality, the first battle against conditions such as diabetes is in the mind. Stress, insomnia, depression and other related mental conditions can and do blur your judgment, can lead to panic attacks and can make a manageable situation unmanageable.
Keep yourself abreast of developments in the diabetic sector, ask questions on your mind, and ensure that you do not suffer in silence.
Mark Benson is a journalist and blogger for diabetesforum.com.
Looking for advice or the latest news about diabetes, or you are struggling to cope with the disease? Visit the Diabetes News Community and join its 26,000-strong forum community.
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