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What is Diabetes?

Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas is no longer able to make insulin or when the body cannot make good use of the insulin it produces (insulin resistance). This leads to raised glucose levels in the blood, as insulin helps glucose get absorbed by our cells to produce energy.

There are three major types of diabetes mellitus:

  • Type 1 DM results from the body’s failure to produce enough insulin.
  • Type 2 DM is a progressive condition caused by a combination of insulin resistance (where the body’s demand for insulin increases) and inadequate insulin production by the pancreas. Weight gain and sedentary lifestyle along with family history for diabetes are predisposing factors.
  • Gestational diabetes, is the third form and occurs when pregnant women without a previous history of diabetes develop a high blood glucose level. Gestational diabetes usually resolves after the birth of the baby.

Several risk factors have been associated with Type 2 diabetes, such as family history, lack of exercise, unhealthy eating and being overweight. People with diabetes have an increased risk of developing a number of complications, such as cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney failure and circulatory problems which may lead to lower limb amputations. Maintaining blood glucose levels, blood pressure and cholesterol at or close to normal can help delay or prevent diabetes complications. Therefore people with diabetes need regular monitoring.

At present, type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, but there is a lot of evidence that lifestyle changes can help prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes. These changes are: increasing physical activity (regular exercise), prevention of weight gain (losing weight if overweight) and maintaining, a balanced and nutritious diet.

Diabetes Fact Sheet: UAE 2015

Total Adult Population : 1,384 Million

Related deaths due to diabetes : 1,384 Million

Prevalence of Diabetes in Adults : 14.6%

Diabetes cases on Adults : 1.08 Million

Estimated Undiagnosed diabetes cases : 380,000

Facts and Figures about Diabetes

Diabetes in the UAE