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Diabetes is the first non-communicable disease recognized by the United Nations as an epidemic of the 21st century. World Diabetes Day is celebrated on June 27 to commemorate the discovery of insulin - a drug that turned diabetes from an incurable disease into a chronic disease. The experts of the Food and Nutrition Institute have no doubts: it is easier to avoid diabetes than to treat it, our lifestyle, in particular our diet and physical activity, are of critical importance. Changing your lifestyle can reduce your risk of diabetes by almost 60 percent.

According to the World He alth Organization, 415 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes, and by 2035 their number may increase to 600 million. The number of diabetic patients increases by an average of 2.5% each year. In Poland, nearly 3.5 million people struggle with diabetes, and with the current growth rate, this number may exceed 4 million as early as 2022.

According to the estimates of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, by 2040 diabetes and its complications will be the main cause of death in women, and the percentage of women struggling with this disease will increase to 40%. According to the data of the same institution, pre-diabetes (abnormal fasting glucose: 100-125 mg / dl or abnormal glucose tolerance ) today affects nearly 1/3 of the professionally active adult population worldwide. In Poland, this number probably reaches 5 million people.

Diabetes - it's easier to avoid than to cure

Obesity is the main risk factor for diabetes. According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), about 48% of people suffering from type 2 diabetes are overweight (BMI 25-29.9 kg / m2), a further 40% are first degree obese (BMI 30-34.9 kg / m2). Only a few percent of diabetic patients have a normal body weight (BMI 18.5-24.9 kg / m2). The more and more frequent tendency of diabetes in children and adolescents is disturbing, although generally type 2 diabetes affects people over 40 years of age.

Untreated or improperly treated diabetes can lead to numerous complications - such as stroke, blindness, kidney failure and coronary heart disease. Undiagnosed diabetes (a state of high blood glucose, i.e. hyperglycemia) is also dangerous to human he alth. Chronic hyperglycaemia can cause damage, dysfunction and failure of various organs, especially the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart and blood vessels.blood vessels.

Experts from the Food and Nutrition Institute emphasize: diabetes is easier to avoid than to treat it. A proper diet is important, without excess sugars and fat, but rich in vegetables and fruits (with a predominance of vegetables). Avoid highly caloric, highly processed products and stimulants, but increase your physical activity. Regular checkups are important, especially after the age of 45.

- Diabetes mellitus, especially type 2, is one of the most common and dangerous diseases of civilization. To a large extent, we have created it ourselves socially - an incorrect diet and a sedentary lifestyle. The truth is that the prevention of diabetes is a fight against the consequences of obesity, which is today the greatest he alth threat in the world. If we fight obesity, we will almost naturally eliminate the problem of diabetes. I will say endlessly: proper diet and physical activity play a key role in the prevention and treatment of diabetes. Today, we have no turning back from changing our lifestyle - we will either consciously and consistently change our diet and increase physical activity, or we will face a h alt in the development of civilization - warns prof. dr hab. Mirosław Jarosz, Director of the Food and Nutrition Institute.

"Sweet costs"

Diabetes imposes enormous financial burdens on patients, their families and the economy as a whole. In most countries of the world, 15% of he alth care expenditure is spent annually on the costs of diabetes, and this percentage shows an upward trend. Only in Poland in the years 2004-2009 the cost of he alth services due to diabetes increased fivefold. According to simulations by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), by 2030, expenses for the prevention and treatment of diabetes and its complications will amount to approximately USD 600 billion. The cost of treating diabetes complications is 5 times greater than treating diabetes alone. Importantly, 46% of the total costs of diabetes are indirect costs (related to loss of productivity due to early disability pensions and days off work due to sick leave). The total cost of diabetes in Poland today is 7 billion a year.

On March 27, 2022, the Supreme Audit Office published a post-audit " Report on the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes ". The aim of the audit by the Supreme Audit Office was to evaluate activities aimed at early detection of people at risk and suffering from type 2 diabetes, and to implement effective methods of treating this disease. The audit covered the years 2015-2017. According to the Supreme Audit Office, the activities of the he alth care system were not effective in this respect. The dynamics of the increase in the number of new cases has not been limited. According to the data of the National He alth Fund, at the end of 2016, the number of patients with type 2 diabetes was over 1.6 millionpeople - more than 1% compared to 2015. The costs incurred by the NHF for the treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes (without the costs of treatment of complications) amounted to PLN 1.7 billion in 2016 - an increase of 8.5% compared to to the previous year.

"Anti-diabetes policy"

Prediabetes is an abnormal fasting glucose level (100-125 mg / dL) or impaired glucose toleranceand is almost inevitably associated with the development of diabetes if not addressed.

Pre-diabetes is a hidden enemy: it is not indicated by specific symptoms, the patient feels normal, does not feel any specific symptoms. The most important factors that predispose to the development of pre-diabetes and diabetes are: obesity, sedentary lifestyle, family history of diabetes, the presence of hypertension or lipid disorders.

Pre-diabetes is conducive to the development of diabetes, generating long-term diabetic complications - due to the fact that even a slight increase in blood glucose damages the vessels. Pre-diabetes accelerates the development of atherosclerosis, and also increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

- Pre-diabetes is becoming a growing social problem, you need to be aware of it. However, lifestyle changes, such as a proper diet and increased physical activity, can effectively reverse it, preventing or slowing the development of type 2 diabetes. - says prof. Mirosław Jarosz - The Pyramid of He althy Nutrition and Physical Activity, consistently popularized by IŻŻ, is a preventive tool and a brake on the development of pre-diabetes. This is our anti-diabetes policy. "

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