Team Novo Nordisk | What is diabetes?

What is diabetes?

09 September 2015

What is diabetes?

There are an estimated 387 million people living with diabetes worldwide, which is approximately one in twelve adults.1,2 This figure is expected to rise to 592 million by 2035, with all types of diabetes increasing in prevalence across the globe but particularly type 2.1,3

Diabetes is a long-term medical condition that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.4 Insulin is a hormone which regulates blood sugar, and acts as a key that lets the body’s cells take in glucose and use it as energy.3,4

Our bodies usually break down carbohydrates and sugars from our food and drink into glucose, which is absorbed by the body’s cells and used for energy.

Without insulin, glucose stays in the blood stream and damages the body’s tissues over time.4 When blood glucose levels become too high, it is known as hyperglycaemia, when they get too low, it is known as hypoglycaemia.
Team Novo Nordisk | What is Diabetes? | Blood Glucose Levels

In the long term, high blood sugar can cause damage to eyes, kidneys, nerves and blood vessels, and complications can include disabling and life-threatening health complications, such as amputation and kidney failure.4 Hypoglycaemia can also be dangerous and can lead to coma, and even death, if not treated right away by eating sugar.5

The risk of hypoglycaemia is reduced in type 2 diabetes and unlikely in people who manage their condition through lifestyle measures alone.6

Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are two different diseases and the epidemiology of each disease is different. Below is a simple diagram to help differentiate between the two conditions.

Team Novo Nordisk | What is Diabetes? | Difference between Type 1 and Type 2 DiabetesSymptoms of type 1 diabetes often appear suddenly and  it is usually diagnosed in children or young adults.3 There are many risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes and symptoms often appear gradually.3 It is important to diagnose type 2 diabetes as early as possible to ensure appropriate care and treatment is put in place. All patients with diabetes (both type 1 and type 2) should be treated and managed properly with an individual structured self-management plan to keep blood glucose levels in target range.7

About Team Novo Nordisk

Team Novo Nordisk is a global all diabetes sports team of cyclists, triathletes and runners, spearheaded by the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team. The men’s professional cycling team races on the International Cycling Union (UCI) Professional Continental tour, competing in major professional races around the world.

The team’s mission is to inspire, educate and empower people affected by diabetes, by showing what may be possible while living with diabetes.

References

  1. International Diabetes Federation.
    IDF Diabetes Atlas, 6th Edition, 2014 Update. Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation. Available at: http://www.idf.org/diabetesatlas/update-2014.
    Last accessed: April 2015.
  2. International Diabetes Federation.
    IDF Diabetes Atlas 6th Edition, 2014 Update, Atlas Poster. Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation. Available at: http://www.idf.org/sites/default/files/Atlas-poster-2014_EN.pdf. Last accessed: April 2015.
  3. International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas 6th Edition, 2013 Update. Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation. Available at: http://www.idf.org/sites/default/files/EN_6E_Atlas_Full_0.pdf. Last accessed: April 2015
  4. World Health Organisation, Diabetes Factsheet 312. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs312/en/.
    Last accessed: April 2015
  5. NHS Choices, Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar). Available at:
    http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hypoglycaemia/pages/introduction.aspx. Last accessed April 2015.
  6. International Diabetes Federation toolkit, physical activity. Available at: http://www.idf.org/worlddiabetesday/toolkit/pwd/physical-activity Last accessed: June 2015
  7. International Diabetes Federation, Position Statement: Self-Management Education. Available at: http://www.idf.org/education/self-management-education. Last accessed: April 2015
  8. International Diabetes Federation, World Diabetes Day, physical activity toolkit. Available at: http://www.idf.org/worlddiabetesday/toolkit/pwd/physical-activity
  9. Piłaciński, S., & Zozulińska-Ziółkiewicz, D. A. Influence of lifestyle on the course of type 1 diabetes mellitus. Archives of Medical Science : AMS,
    (2014), 10(1), 124–134.
  10. International Diabetes Federation, toolkit, diabetes and physical activity. Available at: http://www.idf.org/worlddiabetesday/toolkit/children/physical-activity. Last accessed: April 2015
  11. Poynten A, Donald C. Insulin Resistance: The Link Between Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease. Diabetes Voice 2001:Vol. 46 No. 2/2001. Available at: http://www.idf.org/diabetesvoice/articles/insulin-resistance-the-link-between-diabetes-and-cardiovascular-disease.
    Last accessed: April 2015
  12. International Diabetes Federation, toolkit, diabetes misconceptions. Available at: http://www.idf.org/worlddiabetesday/toolkit/gp/diabetes-misconceptions. Last accessed April 2015
  13. Colberg S, et al. Exercise and Type 2 Diabetes. The American College of Sports Medicine and the American Diabetes Association: joint position statement. Diabetes Care 2010;33(12):e147-67
  14. American Diabetes Association, ADA. Diabetes Care. Diabetes Mellitus and Exercise. Available at: http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/25/suppl_1/s64.full. Last accessed: April 2015
  15. Briscoe VJ, et al. Hypoglycemia in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes: Physiology, Pathphysiology, and Management. Clinical Diabetes, July 2006 Vol. 24 No. 3 115-121
  16. Pugliese G, et al. Self glucose monitoring and physical exercise in diabetes. Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2009 1:S11-7. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19662620. Last accessed: June 2015
  17. Lessons from the professionals: diabetes and pro cycling. Practical Diabetes 2013; 30(7): 266-270

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