There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition where the pancreas is attacked by auto-antibodies causing it to fail. This necessitates treatment with insulin.
On the other hand, type 2 diabetes is mainly brought on by an unhealthy, inactive lifestyle and weight gain. In this type of diabetes, there is insulin in the body, but the body becomes resistant to it so the insulin becomes largely ineffective.
In recent years, we have seen a (rapid) rise in type 2 diabetes across all age groups.
The UAE is ranked 16th worldwide, with 19% of the UAE population living with diabetes.
These statistics indicate that the region has high risk factors for diabetes, mostly related to rising obesity rates and physical inactivity.
This sedentary lifestyle and the globally increasing unhealthy diet have contributed to the rise in obesity and have fuelled diabetes prevalence in the region.
A sedentary lifestyle and bad eating habits are cited as the main causes of the increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the UAE. It is becoming increasingly clear that type 2 diabetes is associated with decreasing levels of activity and an increasing prevalence of obesity.
People need to be sensitive to their physical condition and be alert in recognising the early symptoms of diabetes. Certain symptoms can be a clear ‘high-risk’ sign and the aim is to decrease the chance of developing further complications. By having some understanding of the early symptoms of diabetes, people are better equipped to manage these issues, should they occur.
Diabetes in UAE and its impact
A sedentary lifestyle and bad eating habits have been cited as the main causes of the increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the UAE. Risks of cardiovascular disease and stroke are up to six times higher in people with diabetes.
Traditionally, type 2 diabetes is referred to as adult-onset diabetes. However, in recent years diabetes has reached epidemic levels worldwide, with children as young as seven year developing diabetes.
Click here to see IDF Diabetes Atlas - Sixth edition