Diabetes rates worldwide are increasing rapidly, to the point of being declared an epidemic.
The basic problem in diabetes is that your body loses its ability to control levels of blood sugar (glucose) within a safe range. It is called a safe range because excess glucose is a highly toxic substance, and excess blood and tissue levels eventually lead to life-changing complications. The vast majority – more than 90% – of all diabetes is the type 2, (DM2) which can take years 10-15 years to develop: during that time, you may be totally unaware of symptoms, until the DM2 has caused complications.
Persistently high blood sugar contributes toward artery blockages, causing heart attacks and stroke. Blocking arteries in the retina results in blindness; in the kidney, this causes kidney failure; in the periphery, it leads to gangrene and amputations. Nerves are also damaged by the high glucose levels, resulting in numbness. Our immune system is also compromised by high blood glucose levels, and this, together with the fact that bacteria and fungi feed off glucose and are thus encouraged to multiply, means that infection is promoted plus your ability to fight it is impaired.
DM2 is considered a lifestyle disease, and thus preventable. There is a genetic component in that it does tend to run in families, but even with this, the onset can be prevented by a simple measure: keep you weight normal. If you eat healthy food and do not become obese, your chances of developing DM2, even with a family history, are significantly diminished.
If you suspect you are at risk of DM2, please ask your doctor to request three simple blood test, all of which must be done after a strict overnight fast: (1) fasting blood glucose (2) HbA1c (3) fasting insulin. Those who test positive should then also have their cholesterol and thyroid functions tested. Detecting DM2 in its early phase gives you the best chance of reversing the trend or at least halting its progress.