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Diabetes is a syndrome and/or set of metabolic disorders, where the main characteristic is hyperglycemia (excess of glucose) which accumulates in the bloodstream and may due to defects in the production of insulin by the pancreas, to the action of insulin produced by the pancreas, or both defects.

It is a chronic, incurable and irreversible condition that progresses in a degenerative process and its complications represent the first causes of death (according to projections of the WHO, diabetes will be the 7th cause of mortality in 2030) and incapacity worldwide (as they are blindness, renal failure, myocardial infarction, stroke and amputation of the lower limbs). It is estimated that in 2012 diabetes was the direct cause of 1.5 million deaths, and another 2.2 million deaths were attributable to hyperglycemia.

The classification of Diabetes has changed over the years, but the latest medical updates categorize it as:
- TYPE 1 DIABETES: known as insulin-dependent diabetes, type I diabetes or juvenile diabetes.
- TYPE 2 DIABETES: known as non-insulin dependent diabetes, adult diabetes or type II diabetes.
There are the Gestational Diabetes and other types generated by other circumstances.

The diagnosis of diabetes may be evident and sudden or silent and slow, established through clinical review and specific biochemical tests. It can lead the treatment, preventing or delaying the consequences of the disease. 

This self-learning course, aimed to health professionals, provides knowledge about a comprehensive approach of people with diabetes. The course presents information about diagnosis criteria and classification, diabetes physiology and physiopathology bases, epidemiology in diabetes, complications and prevention, nutrition and metabolic control, and the basic elements for the development of education programs for the community. 

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