Diabetes doubles the risk of cardiovascular disease. The main "macro vascular" diseases (related to atherosclerosis of larger arteries) are ischemic heart disease (angina and myocardial infarction), stroke and peripheral vascular disease. Diabetes mellitus, often simply referred to as diabetes, is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. This high blood sugar produces the classical symptoms of polyuria (frequent urination), polydipsia (increased thirst) and polydipsia (increased hunger).

There are three main types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes:

It results from the body's failure to produce insulin, and presently requires the person to inject insulin. (Also referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, IDDM for short and juvenile diabetes.)
Symptoms of type 1 diabetes are usually:

  • excessive thirst
  • excessive urination
  • excessive hunger
  • weight loss
  • fatigue
  • blurred vision

Type 2 diabetes:

It results from insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to use insulin properly, sometimes combined with an absolute insulin deficiency. (Formerly referred to as non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, NIDDM for short, and adult-onset diabetes.)

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:

  • Age (being over 4O years old)
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Having a family history of diabetes
  • Ethnic background or race (Native/Indigenous, African, Hispanic or Asian descent)
  • Having given birth to a large baby (over 4 kg or 9 lbs)
  • People with pre diabetes (Impaired glucose tolerance) or the metabolic syndrome-two diseases that are closely related to type 2 diabetes.
  • People with High Blood pressure
  • Abnormal Lipid Profile.
  • Also experience slow healing cuts and bruises, recurring gum or bladder infections, or tingling in their hands or feet.

Gestational Diabetes:

Gestational diabetes is another common type of diabetes. It is a temporary condition that occurs during pregnancy, one who has never had diabetes before, have a high blood glucose level during pregnancy. The risk of type 2 diabetes returning is greater if the mother has given birth to a baby that weighed over 4 kg (9 lbs) at birth.

Risk Factors of Diabetes: 

Increased life expectancy in some countries is also an important reason why the number of people diagnosed with type-2 diabetes is increasing worldwide.

Some risk factors come from our family history and genetics and so are with us always, but some can be turned around to help reverse or prevent type 2-diabetes. These risk factors are:

  • Being obese (about 50 percent of men and 70 percent of women who have diabetes are obese);
  • Having a lifestyle that does not involve significant physical activity;
  • Having low HDL ("good") cholesterol levels and high triglyceride levels; and
  • Having an increased prevalence of high blood pressure.

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Nutrition Advance 2014