Diabetes Mellitus is a disease that can arise in infancy, adolescence or as an adult. Despite all efforts to control this disease, its prevalence has been rising, and Portugal is no exception.
According to the World Health Organization, Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic disease that arises when the pancreas no longer produces enough insulin (blood sugar regulating hormone), or the body cannot use it effectively. This will lead to a rise in blood glucose, or blood sugar (hyperglycemia), which, in the long run, may cause several complications.
There are several types of diabetes, with type 1 Diabetes, type 2 Diabetes and Gestational Diabetes being the most common.
Worldwide, 347 million people have Diabetes, and it is estimated that, by 2030, it will be the seventh leading cause of death. In Portugal, in 2012, 12.9% of the population aged between 20 and 79 had Diabetes, although only 7.3% had been diagnosed.
Type 2 Diabetes – the most common type of Diabetes – is associated with an unhealthy lifestyle, including an unbalanced high-energy diet, sedentary lifestyle and excess body weight. The prevention of this disease includes the adoption of a healthy lifestyle, such as following a complete, balanced and varied diet, exercising regularly and maintaining an adequate body weight.