|Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose (or sugar). Over time, it leads to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves.
The most common type of diabetes is type 2. Type 2 diabetes usually occurs in adults when the body becomes resistant to insulin or does not make enough of it. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in the past three decades the incidence of type 2 diabetes has risen dramatically all over the world. The other type of diabetes is type one, which is sometimes called juvenile diabetes or insulin dependent diabetes. It’s a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin.
Globally, and championed by the WHO, there is an agreed upon target to halt the rise of diabetes and obesity by 2025. The latest available global statistics (2014) indicate that 442 million people around the world over the age of 18 have diabetes. That’s about 8.5% of the world’s population! Here at home, Diabetes Canada estimates that 11 million people live with diabetes or pre-diabetes, and the cost to treat the diseases has ballooned from $14 billion in 2008 to nearly $30 billion today.
So how do we manage this disease and ensure we can hit the global target? The internationally renown Mayo Clinic has an excellent article you can check out here.
Building your awareness about what makes your blood sugar rise and fall, and how to control things that are a part of your everyday life is the first step in ensuring you can effectively manage your disease. There are also exciting innovations that have significant potential in improving the management of diabetes. These include:
- Cell therapy
- The artificial pancreas
- New drug therapies for type 2 diabetes
- Microbiome treatment
- Needleless management systems
Every day there are significant advancements being made in the treatment and care of those living with diabetes, so there is no doubt that we can expect all sorts of revolutionary technologies to come forward.
Editor’s Note: The information and other content provided in this story, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment.