More than 90% of diabetes cases in the world are diabetes mellitus of the second type, which, according to experts, affects especially lifestyle and environment.
It was once spoken of as old-fashioned diabetes, but it is already present in children and youth. "The most important factor in the development of type 2 diabetes is overweight and obesity," says Deputy Chairman of the Czech Diabetes Society (SDS) Zbynek Schroner. He added that the cause of overweight and obesity in young people is poor diet with excessive consumption of low-fiber high-energy foods.
"We are talking about the so-called Coca-Colonization Lifestyle," says Schroner. An important factor is that children have a sedentary lifestyle already. The incidence of type 2 diabetes varies from country to country. Significant growth is seen in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Thailand and Japan. In Europe, diabetes mellitus of the second type most commonly occurs in Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Malta or Western European countriesBut according to Schroner, more and more cases occur in Central and Eastern Europe. In Slovakia there are only rare occasions. "But we're afraid this situation will get worse," he says.
The basis of prevention and treatment is not medication, but non-pharmacological measures, ie healthy diet and exercise. "It plays a big role, as parents lead children to the right life. It is very important for children to have their physical activity entertained, so it is a good choice not to exercise on a bicycle but to skating, dancing or running with a dog, " says Schroner. However, it adds that it is important for society to be interested in diabetes.
"Genes allow the emergence of a second type of diabetes, but they do not make it," says Viera Doničová from SDS. Genetic susceptibility to developing a second type of diabetes is not a sufficient condition for the disease to occur. "Risk factors such as the incidence of diabetes in a direct family relationship or elevated blood sugar in the past are important. Increased risk is also found in women who previously had pregnancy diabetes, people with high weight and high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease at present or in the past, " added Doničová.
Patients with any risk factor should be tested once a year. Even in patients who have no risk factor, it is recommended to test the blood sugar level once every three years. According to the 2002 Diabetes Prevention Program, people who had elevated blood sugar levels reduced the risk of diabetes by 31 percent compared with patients who did not have any active substance. Physical activity reduced the risk of diabetes by 58 percent. "It's never too late to start practicing or changing your eating habits," SDA chairman Katarina Rašlová says. It also considers it important to raise people's awareness of healthy foods.