Diabetes – A Disease of the Generation Z?


Diabetes is “becoming a disease of the young,” says Dr. Arthur Rubenstein, a leading endocrinologist. “Ten years ago, we were teaching medical students that you didn’t see this disease in people under 40,” says diabetes expert Dr. Robin S. Goland,. “Now we’re seeing it in people under 10.” Does the diabetes a Disease of the Generation Z? Lets check the Statistics?

Diabetes Statistics

Consider these brief reports from around the world.

Australia, as per the International Diabetes Institute, “diabetes stands out as one of the most complex health challenges of the 21st century.”

India, there are a minimum of 30 million individuals affected by diabetes. According to a doctor, the demographic of diabetes patients has shifted significantly over the past 15 years, with a noticeable increase in cases among people under the age of 40. “Today, nearly every second patient falls into this age category,” the doctor notes.

Singapore, approximately one-third of individuals aged between 30 and 69 have been diagnosed with diabetes. Alarmingly, even children, some as young as ten years old, have received this diagnosis.

United States, around 16 million individuals are affected by this condition, with approximately 800,000 new cases being diagnosed each year. It’s noteworthy that there are millions more who have the disease but remain unaware of their condition.

Why has Diabetes increased?

Why the increase in diabetes among youths? Sometimes a genetic predisposition is involved. But weight and environment may also play a role. The number of obese children has doubled in the past two decades. There have been several changes in food habits and activity patterns over the last 20 years. These include increased reliance on foods consumed outside the home; increased rates of skipping breakfast; increased consumption of soft drinks and fast foods; reduction of physical activities.

Treatment for diabetes is made more difficult because a person can have the disease a long time before it is diagnosed. “Because the early symptoms are relatively mild,” notes Asia week magazine, “diabetes often goes unrecognized.” Hence, diabetes has been dubbed the silent killer.

What Is Diabetes?

To begin, it’s essential to grasp the concept of diabetes. A fundamental aspect of this condition relates to the body’s production of insulin, which is a hormone manufactured by the pancreas. Insulin plays a crucial role in facilitating the removal of sugar from the bloodstream and transporting it into cells, where it serves as an energy source or is stored.

The food we consume is transformed by our bodies into usable energy. This function is as essential as breathing. In the stomach and the intestines, food is broken down into more basic elements, including a type of sugar, glucose. When sugar is detected, the pancreas responds by generating insulin, facilitating the passage of sugar into the body’s cells. Then the sugar can be burned for energy.

When a person has diabetes, either his pancreas does not produce enough insulin or his body does not utilize insulin well. Consequently, the sugar in the bloodstream is unable to enter the body’s cells for utilization. Explains the book Understanding Insulin Dependent Diabetes: “The blood sugar then rises to a high level and overflows through the kidney into the urine.” Untreated diabetics may experience frequent urination and other symptoms.

“Untreated diabetes leads to ketosis, the accumulation of ketones, products of fat breakdown in the blood; this is followed by acidosis (accumulation of acid in the blood) with nausea and vomiting. As the toxic products of disordered carbohydrate and fat metabolism continue to build up, the patient goes into diabetic coma.

Dangers of Diabetes

The body needs fuel to keep it going. When the body can’t use glucose, it resorts to metabolizing body fats and protein. Yet, as the body processes fat, it produces waste products known as ketones. These ketones accumulate in the bloodstream and are eventually excreted in the urine.

Because these ketones are more acidic than healthy body tissues, high blood levels of ketones may lead to a serious condition called ketoacidosis.

For diabetics, it’s hazardous when their blood sugar drops below the normal range, known as hypoglycaemia. This condition often presents with noticeable and uncomfortable symptoms. Individuals may feel shaky, exhausted, irritable, or disoriented, and might display signs such as a racing heart, blurred vision, headaches, or a tingling sensation near the mouth and lips. In severe situations, they may experience seizures or even lose consciousness. Adhering to a well-balanced diet and regular eating routines can often alleviate these complications.

How to reduce the risk of Diabetes

  1. Choose healthful food. Opt for nutritious foods. Prioritize whole grains like bread, rice, and pasta—consumed in moderation—over processed options. Incorporate lean meats, fish, nuts, and beans into your diet. When feasible and practical, consider these suggestions: Consume smaller meal portions and choose water and whole fruits over sugary juices and sodas.
  2. Stay physically active. Maintain an active lifestyle. Physical activity not only aids in regulating blood sugar levels but also supports healthy weight management. Consider trading some of your TV viewing hours for workouts. While you can’t alter your genetics, you can definitely make positive lifestyle changes.
  3. Periodical blood sugar testing. egular monitoring of blood sugar levels is essential. While diabetes can be managed, a cure remains elusive. Prediabetes often manifests without clear symptoms, making it easy to overlook. Global reports indicate that roughly 316 million individuals have prediabetes, with a significant number unaware of their condition. Specifically, in the U.S., about 90 percent of those with prediabetes are uninformed of their status. Factors like being overweight, leading a sedentary lifestyle, or having a family history of diabetes might suggest a risk of prediabetes. A routine blood test can confirm its presence.
Diabetes cannot be reversed. Therefore, it is wise to follow the advice: 
Stay away from junk food and stay fit.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What are the 4 types of diabetes?

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes


Please contact your doctor for more information

What should my blood sugar be?

Doctors recommend a blood glucose range of 80-130 before meals and less than 180 about 2 hours after a meal. Kindly contact your doctor.

Are sweets to be completely avoided?

Sweets are rich sources of simple carbohydrates as well as fat and they increase the risk for cardiac diseases. Its better to discourage oneself from the intake of a large part of sweets.

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