Title: Study Reveals Alarming Rates of Undiagnosed Diabetes, Threatening Global Health
By: Michelle Mantey | October 2nd, 2023, 5:51 a.m
A recent study has shed light on the hidden dangers of undiagnosed diabetes, revealing that 4 out of 10 cases go unnoticed. This lack of awareness can have severe health consequences for individuals, resulting in life-threatening complications. Recognizing the early signs of diabetes is crucial in preventing these devastating outcomes.
Diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus, is a metabolic disease characterized by high blood sugar levels due to insufficient insulin production. Insulin is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels in the body. In Germany alone, 7.2 percent of individuals between the ages of 18 and 79 have been diagnosed with diabetes, according to the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA).
However, the Global Diabetes Industry study has revealed significant disparities in diagnosing this chronic condition worldwide. Researchers found that while 41 percent of diabetes cases go undiagnosed in Europe, the figure rises to a staggering 60 percent in Africa. Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific region also face challenges with a 57 percent and 56 percent rate of undiagnosed diabetes, respectively.
The study’s lead researcher, Sasha Korogodsk, has attributed these discrepancies to limited healthcare infrastructure and a shortage of medical professionals and diagnostic equipment in certain regions. These barriers often hinder early detection and prompt intervention.
Tragically, almost 7 million deaths worldwide were attributed to diabetes in 2021. The consequences of undetected diabetes can be dire, including nerve damage, impaired vision, kidney disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Once diagnosed, patients require regular medical care and medication to regulate blood sugar levels and detect potential secondary diseases at an early stage.
Recognizing the warning signs of diabetes is critical in preventing the progression of the disease. Symptoms can vary, but commonly include fatigue, frequent urination, weight loss, dizziness, and reduced performance. In some cases, individuals may experience an unquenchable thirst, headaches, confusion, nausea, cravings, pale complexion, and a rapid pulse, particularly when blood sugar levels are significantly elevated.
It is crucial to note that there are two main types of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 90 to 95 percent of cases, is often only detected when secondary diseases, such as heart attacks or strokes, arise. Obesity is a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Therefore, maintaining a healthy diet and engaging in regular exercise are essential preventive measures.
On the other hand, type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that primarily affects children and adolescents. This condition occurs when the immune system attacks the body’s insulin production, leading to the destruction of vital insulin-producing cells. In Germany, approximately 32,000 children and young people, and a total of 372,000 individuals, struggle with type 1 diabetes, as per the German Diabetes Aid.
Recognizing the initial symptoms of diabetes, including those related to heart muscle weakness, is crucial for early intervention and effective management of the condition. By promoting awareness and improving access to healthcare, we can strive to reduce the alarming rates of undiagnosed diabetes and safeguard the global population’s well-being.
– Global Diabetes Industry Study
– Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA)
– German Diabetes Aid]
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