Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high.
There are two main types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes – where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin
Type 2 diabetes – where the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin
During pregnancy, some women have such high levels of blood glucose that their body is unable to produce enough insulin to absorb it all. This is known as gestational diabetes.
Pre-diabetes:- Many more people have blood sugar levels above the normal range, but not high enough to be diagnosed as having diabetes. This is sometimes known as pre-diabetes. If your blood sugar level is above the normal range, your risk of developing full-blown diabetes is increased.
It’s very important for diabetes to be diagnosed as early as possible because it will get progressively worse if left untreated.
Causes of diabetes:-
The amount of sugar in the blood is controlled by a hormone called insulin, which is produced by the pancreas (a gland behind the stomach). When food is digested and enters your bloodstream, insulin moves glucose out of the blood and into cells, where it’s broken down to produce energy.
However, if you have diabetes, your body is unable to break down glucose into energy. This is because there’s either not enough insulin to move the glucose, or the insulin produced doesn’t work properly.
Although there are no lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk of type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes is often linked to being overweight.
Symptoms of diabetes:-
Typical symptoms of type 1 diabetes are:
- Feeling very thirsty
- Passing urine more often than usual, particularly at night
- Feeling very tired
- Weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
The symptoms of type 1 diabetes usually develop very quickly in young people (over a few days or weeks). In adults, the symptoms often take longer to develop (a few months). These symptoms occur because the lack of insulin means that glucose stays in the blood and isn’t used as fuel for energy. Your body tries to reduce blood glucose levels by getting rid of the excess glucose in your urine.
It’s very important for diabetes to be diagnosed as soon as possible, because it will get progressively worse if left untreated.
Typical symptoms of type 2 diabetes are:
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to function properly, or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin. This means glucose stays in the blood and isn’t used as fuel for energy.
Type 2 diabetes is often associated with obesity and tends to be diagnosed in older people. It’s far more common than type 1 diabetes.
Treating type 1 diabetes: Diabetes can’t be cured. Treatment aims to keep your blood glucose levels as normal as possible and control your symptoms, to prevent health problems developing later in life.
If you’re diagnosed with diabetes, you’ll be referred to a diabetes care team for specialist treatment and monitoring.
As your body can’t produce insulin, you’ll need “regular insulin injections” to keep your glucose levels normal. There are alternatives to insulin injections, but they’re only suitable for a small number of patients.
Treating type 2 diabetes: As type 2 diabetes usually gets worse, you may eventually need medication – “usually tablets” – to keep your blood glucose at normal levels.