This is a big question in the medical field, and one that has not been answered definitively. Most doctors do refer to diabetes as a disease, because the definition of a disease is “an illness that affects the body from working normally,” which is essentially what diabetes is. A condition on the other hand is just the state of something, but the conditions can change, whereas if you have diabetes, you have it, there’s no changing circumstances.
The following are a list of reasons why professionals believe that diabetes is a disease over a condition:
• It is not transferable through contact, whereas a condition can be
• Diseases are caused by external and internal factors, which is what essentially diabetes is
• The body cannot work properly, producing insulin, without assistance from an outside source. The body is broken and cannot act on its own, therefore it is not a condition.
However, for all medical professionals who believe diabetes is a disease, there are just as many out there who believe it is a condition, and others who believe that each type of diabetes is different. For example, many claim that gestational diabetes is a condition because it can be “treated,” whereas type 1 diabetes cannot be treated, as there is no cure for it, and therefore it is a disease.
Reasons that doctors believe diabetes is a condition are:
• A condition is a state of health, and having a healthy lifestyle especially, can prevent type 2 diabetes, as an example.
• Gestational diabetes is a condition because it usually only occurs during pregnancy, and therefore is not an ongoing problem
• Diseases can be cured, but conditions cannot, and diabetes does not have a cure
• The complications and the fact you have no control over your symptoms make it a condition
Ultimately, conditions and diseases are sort of a chicken and egg situation because the definition of disease includes conditions and conditions are a part of disease. There are valid arguments for both stances, but really diabetes is a bit of a combination.
Regardless of whether it is a disease or a condition, diabetes should be taken seriously and if you experience any of symptoms you should see your doctor to see if there’s anything you can do.