About 3.5 million people suffer from diabetes in France, including at least 600,000 who ignore themselves. And who are neither obese nor octogenarian: actress Halle Berry, for example, is diabetic.
To find out if you have diabetes , you just have to measure your blood sugar level (the level of sugar in the blood). Beyond 1.26 g per liter, on an empty stomach, the diagnosis of diabetes is made. There are two major types of diabetes (read the box opposite).
Type 1 diabetes, and type 2 which can progress to type 1 in the absence of treatment or failure to observe dietary recommendations.
If type 1 is easily identifiable (increased feeling of fatigue, hunger, thirst, malaise), type 2, painless and silent, can go unnoticed for years. This explains the colossal figure of 600,000 diabetics who ignore each other.
The rare signs that may attract attention are: excessive and chronic fatigue , a tendency to drink and urinate a lot, dry mouth typical of recurrent infections that have difficulty in healing, such as yeast infections , boils.
Very often, the diagnosis is made at the turn of another examination or during a visit to the occupational medicine .
Diabetes, who is affected?
No need to rush into the lab first. People with diabetes in the family are considered at risk. With one of the two parents affected, the risk increases by 30%, and it drops to 90% if both are.
This is why, in children of diabetics, systematic screening is recommended in adulthood. In the sights, women who had gestational diabetes during their pregnancy. Although this goes away after childbirth in 97% of cases, it exposes the mother to developing type 2 diabetes afterwards.
What can be done about diabetes?
Before being type 2 diabetic, one is ” insulin resistant ” or pre-diabetes. At this point, nothing is lost. By adopting a better hygiene of life, that is to say by chasing away extra pounds, by forgetting saturated fat to get fiber, and by seriously practicing a sport, you can reduce your risk of diabetes.
And it works ! A survey by the National Institute of Health showed that 30 minutes of physical exercise (walking, for example) is enough to reduce the risk of developing the disease by 58%.
Tracking blood sugar faster and better is a big step forward. But diabetes will regress when you eat lighter and move your body. So we put away our packet of cakes and get on our bike.
The two types of diabetes
Type 1 diabetes , formerly known as insulin-dependent diabetes, affects around 180,000 people. Following an autoimmune disease (the body attacks itself) or viral disease (unproven hypothesis), the pancreas produces little or no insulin.
The disease often starts in childhood or adolescence, but now affects adults. It is not known why this disease occurs, so it is almost impossible to prevent it. But we can live normally with a rigorous lifestyle and medical treatment.
Type 2 diabetes , formerly called fatty diabetes, is the most common form (2.2 million patients in France).
Overweight and sedentary lifestyle are pointed out as being responsible for the dysregulation of the organism, unable to secrete enough insulin and to use it correctly. Most often diagnosed in adults, it is more and more common in adolescents. Heredity plays an important role in this.