The US-based Centres for Disease Control and Prevention defines diabetes as a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy.
The centre’s official website breaks down the two main types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition where the pancreas is attacked by antibodies, causing it to fail. This requires treatment with insulin. Whereas, in type 2 diabetes, there is insulin in the body, but the body becomes resistant to it so the insulin becomes largely ineffective.
In recent years, we have seen a rise in type 2 diabetes across all age groups. According to a Gulf News report published earlier this month, the UAE is ranked 16th worldwide, with almost 19 per cent of the UAE’s population living with diabetes. And according to the International Diabetes Federation, 1,400 people in the UAE died of diabetes related complications in 2011. These statistics indicate that the region has high risk factors for diabetes, mostly related to rising obesity rates and physical inactivity.
Another cause for concern is children who are being diagnosed with diabetes. A Gulf News report published in March stated that diabetes is becoming more common among children in the UAE, with doctors reporting patients as young as 10 who have developed it.
© Gulf NewsApr 2015