We simplify information from trusted sources such as WHO. Diabetes and Dementia FAQ aims to cover all diabetes and dementia questions and answer them in an easy to understand fashion. This FAQ is informational only, the content provided on this site is not to be used for diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please consult with your healthcare provider for professional diagnosis or treatment.
1. Diabetes (WHO, 2020) read more…
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Hyperglycaemia, or raised blood sugar, is a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes and over time leads to serious damage to many of the body's systems, especially the nerves and blood vessels. (WHO, 2020)
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes (non-insulin-dependent, or adult-onset) results from the body’s ineffective use of insulin. The majority of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. This type of diabetes is largely the result of excess body weight and physical inactivity.
Symptoms: may be similar to those of type 1 diabetes, but are often less marked. As a result, the disease may be diagnosed several years after onset, after complications have already arisen.
Until recently, this type of diabetes was seen only in adults but it is now also occurring increasingly frequently in children.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent, juvenile or childhood-onset) is characterized by deficient insulin production and requires daily administration of insulin. Neither the cause of Type 1 diabetes nor the means to prevent it are known.
Symptoms: include excessive excretion of urine (polyuria), thirst (polydipsia), constant hunger, weight loss, vision changes, and fatigue. These symptoms may occur suddenly.
Gestational diabetes is hyperglycaemia with blood glucose values above normal but below those diagnostic of diabetes. Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy
Women with gestational diabetes are at an increased risk of complications during pregnancy and at delivery. These women and possibly their children are also at increased risk of type 2 diabetes in the future.
Gestational diabetes is diagnosed through prenatal screening, rather than through reported symptoms.
Treatment of diabetes involves diet and physical activity along with lowering of blood glucose and the levels of other known risk factors that damage blood vessels. Tobacco use cessation is also important to avoid complications.
Type 1: blood glucose control in particularly, require insulin
Type 2: oral medication, may require insulin
Other interventions: blood pressure control, foot care, screening and treatment for retinopathy (which causes blindness); blood lipid control (to regulate cholesterol levels), screening for early signs of diabetes-related kidney disease and treatment.
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Dementia is a syndrome – usually of a chronic or progressive nature – in which there is deterioration in cognitive function (i.e. the ability to process thought) beyond what might be expected from normal ageing. It affects memory, thinking, orientation, comprehension, calculation, learning capacity, language, and judgement. Consciousness is not affected. The impairment in cognitive function is commonly accompanied, and occasionally preceded, by deterioration in emotional control, social behaviour, or motivation.
Alzheimer disease is the most common form of dementia and may contribute to 60–70% of cases.
There is often a lack of awareness and understanding of dementia, resulting in stigmatization and barriers to diagnosis and care. The impact of dementia on carers, family and society at large can be physical, psychological, social and economic.
- Memory loss
- Difficulty planning or solving problems
- Difficulty doing familiar tasks
- Being confused about time or place
- Challenges understanding visual information
- Problems speaking or writing
- Misplacing things
- Poor judgment or decision-making
- Withdrawal from socializing
- Changes in personality or mood, aggression
There is no treatment currently available to cure dementia or to alter its progressive course.
However, much can be offered to support and improve the lives of people with dementia and their carers and families.