Why Is It Called The Stealth Disease?
definition, is the way of moving without being seen, felt or detected.
Does diabetes exhibit these characteristics to be tagged as the stealth
Diabetes is a
chronic disease in which the level of blood glucose of a person is
higher than normal. There are several symptoms that tell a person he
has diabetes. Some of these are frequent urination accompanied by
unusual thirst, dramatic change in weight, blurring of vision, lack of
energy, and many more. However, not all people who actually have
diabetes show these symptoms.
already be quietly creeping inside your system without you knowing it,
especially in its early stages. According to the current statistics of
the American Diabetes Association, there are about 20.8 million people,
in the US alone, who have diabetes. Among these, around 14.6 million
were diagnosed to have the disease, while an alarming 6.2 million
people or nearly 30% of those who have diabetes were not
aware that they already have it. Also, in a study published in
the New England Journal of Medicine couple of years back, 4 out of 112
obese adolescents have the silent type of diabetes.
Different Forms of
There are three
different types of diabetes - Type I, Type II, and Gestational
diabetes. We discussed Type I and II previously as juvenile
and adult. Let's review the first two types.
as the juvenile diabetes, Type 1 is usually diagnosed at a younger age,
mostly during childhood. This type can be linked to the person's genes.
In this type, the pancreas has stopped producing insulin. Thus, in
order for a Type 1 diabetic to survive, s/he needs to continuously take
diabetes, also known as the adult-onset diabetes, is the most
common among diabetic patients - almost 90% of diabetic patients have
this type. From the term adult-onset, this type of diabetes is mostly
diagnosed at a later age in life. Some may have had it since childhood
but just didn't realize until later. This is because, most of the time,
type 2 diabetes only starts to show symptoms when it is
already in the advanced stage.
Type 2 diabetes
can also be linked to the person's lifestyle and diet. That is why
people who are overweight or those aged 40 and above have greater risks
in developing this type of the disease. Thus, to control or prevent
having diabetes in the future, we should all be mindful of the things
we do and the food we eat.
The third kind
is the gestational diabetes. This is only present in pregnant women,
most of the time during the third trimester. This kind is usually
caused by certain hormones brought about by pregnancy or, like the
other types, lack of insulin. Ob-Gyns oftentimes require their patients
to undergo the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test, especially when the woman
is almost overweight due to her pregnancy. Even if this type ceases
after giving birth, there is a big possibility that the woman will
acquire Type 2 diabetes in the future.
If no proper
care is administered or left improperly managed, this stealth disease
can lead to further complications. These complications may be heart,
kidney or eye problems, impotence or even nerve damage. Therefore,
careful management is really necessary for diabetic patients.
How to Fight this
The first way to prevent diabetes, and probably the most important, is
early diagnosis. The earlier this disease is diagnosed in your system,
the sooner you can take action in managing it and, in turn, prevent
further complications. The Canadian Diabetes Association actually
recommend citizens over 40 years old to do regular screening every
three years, and those with other high risk factors to do it every year.
healthy lifestyle with regular exercise combined with a healthy diet is
also one way of preventing, or managing, diabetes especially Type 2.
Any disease, in fact, can be prevented if one focuses on staying and
actually, is much better to manage now than years before. This
is because people are now better educated about this
condition. There have been several studies and researches done as well
to continuously learn more about diabetes and find more ways in
managing and controlling it.
about the condition, proper management, continuous medication, and a
healthy lifestyle are the keys to really preventing this condition from
further advancing and decreasing the possibility of more