Diabetes mellitus, commonly referred to as ‘sugar,’ is one of the leading causes of death in Jamaica, but how much do do we really know about this disease? This Fact Friday, we share some interesting and startling information. Read on:
- There are three types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes usually occurs in children, teens or young adults and requires daily insulin injections. Type 2 diabetes usually occurs in adulthood, but due to the current trend of high obesity rates, teens and young adults are being diagnosed with this form of the disease. Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy between the 24th and 28th weeks, when the mother’s body demands more insulin.
- There is no known cause; however, factors that increase one’s risk of developing diabetes include obesity, family history, age and race or ethnic background.
- Some signs and symptoms of diabetes are: excessive passing of urine, drinking a lot of water, tiredness, weight loss, tingling or numbness of hands and/or feet and recurrent yeast infections.
- More than 220,000 Jamaicans between the ages of 15 and 74 have diabetes. This translates to 13.6% of the population.
- Diabetes is the second leading cause of death for Jamaicans under 70 years old. It ranks as the leading cause of death for women in this age group and the third for men.