Hope the New Pandemic Won’t Be Diabetes


     Hope the new pandemic won’t be diabetes

World Diabetes Day (WDD) was created in 1991 by IDF (International Diabetes Federation) and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2006. It is marked every year on 14th November, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922.


 All around the world, most people heard the name of it at least one time. But in fact, do we really know what is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas is no longer able to make insulin or when the body can not use effectively the insulin it produces.

Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas. It helps glucose pass into the body cells to produce energy. That means  the insulin lowers the blood glucose levels by raising glucose intake to cells.



 There are three types of diabetes : type-1, type-2 and gestational

Type-1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune reaction where the body’s defence system attacks the cells that produce insulin. Around 10% of all people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes. It gives symptoms at any age, but occurs most frequently in children and adolescents. In this type of diabetes the body can not produce enough insulin. The exact causes of diabetes are not yet known, but are linked to a combination of genetic and environmental conditions.

People with type 1 diabetes need daily injections of insulin to keep their blood glucose levels under control. If these people do not have access to insulin, they die.


The most common symptoms of type 1 diabetes are:

-abnormal thirst and dry mouth

-sudden weight loss

-frequent urination

-lack of energy, tiredness

-blurred vision


Diagnosing type 1 diabetes can be diffucult so additional tests may be required to confirm a diagnosis.

Unfortunately there is no effective and safe treatment currently exist to prevent type 1 diabetes. Although a ‘cure’ for type 1 diabetes is being actively sought, preventing or delaying it in those known to be at risk or, in those already diagnosed, slowing down the auto-immune destruction of beta cells and protecting those cells that are still active are likely to be more achievable goals in the foreseeable future.

Type-2 diabetes is more prevalent in adults and accounts for around 90% of all diabetes cases. It is generally characterized by insulin resistance, where the body does not fully respond to insulin. Because insulin cannot work properly, blood glucose levels keep rising, releasing more insulin. The basic medical treatment of type 2 diabetes is healthy diet and healty lifestyle including physical activity. For all that, almost all people with type 2 diabetes will require oral drugs or insulin to keep their blood glucose levels within limits. The symptoms of type 2 diebetes are similar to type 1’s.

The most commonly used oral medications for type 2 diabetes include Metformin (Reduces insulin resistence and allows the body to use insulin more effectively.) and Sulfonylureas (stimulates the pancreas to increase insulin production.).

Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a type of diabetes that consist of high blood glucose during pregnancy and is associated with complications to both mother and child. GDM usually disappears after pregnancy but mother and affected child carry increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.


People with diabetes have consistently high blood glucose levels which can lead to serious diseases and infections. These diseases include coronary artery disease (leading to heart attack), blindness, kidney failure and lower limb amputation.


Nowadays, unfortunately type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented but environmental factors that trigger type 1 diabetes are still under investigation. This situation is different for type 2 diabetes as it’s related to sedimental lifestyle and unhealthy malnutrition. Studies from different part of the world have established that physical activity and healthy diet can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes. IDF recommends physical activity at least between three to five days a week, for a minimum of 30-45 minutes.


Diabetes is a cronic inflammatory disease characterized by metabolic and cardiovascular complications. Oxidative stress levels, synthesis of proinflammatory cytokines and glycation end products are known to increase in diabetes. Compared to covid patients not having any chronic diseases, diabetic covid patients have higher IL-6, CRP, Ferritine levels. That means covid patients with diabetes have a more severe response to the inflammation disorder. Meta-analysis studies have shown that the mortality rate is higher in covid patients with diabetes.

Global Statistics Of Diabetes


Human Population

Diagnosed patients

Estimated cases


7 Billion

285 Million

2030 – 438 Million


7 Billion

366 Million

2030 – 552 Million


7.1 Billion

382 Million

2035 – 592 Million


7.3 Billion

415 Million

2040 – 642 Million


7.5 Billion

424.9 Million

2045 – 628 Million


7.7 Billion

463 Million

2045 – 700 Million

According to IDF Atlases, increasing current diabetic patients and estimated cases are drawing attention.


The increased number and prevalance of diabetes in the world in recent years have begun to create danger. This year ,due to Covid-19 pandemic, sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy malnutirition have been increasing nowadays, which pose a risk of type 2 diabetes. People should be careful about it during and after pandemic situation. Take care of yourselves. Hope the new pandemic won’t be diabetes.

Authors: M. Sait GÖNEN, MD, Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases

                      Emir Efe FIDAN, Cerrahpasa School of Medicine