What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose in your blood is too high. Glucose comes from the food you eat and it is the main source of fuel for the body. For people with diabetes, the body cannot use glucose properly, which leads to high glucose in the blood. This is because the Pancreas does not produce any insulin, or not enough, to help glucose enter your body’s cells. In other words, the insulin that is produced is not working properly, also known as insulin resistance.

Causes of diabetes

Type 1 diabetes may be caused by genetic conditions and environmental factors. Your insulin producing cells are destroyed and your body produces little or no insulin. This will lead to a build-up of sugar in your blood. In type 2 diabetes your body become resistant to insulin. No matter how much insulin is produced, sugar is not utilised correctly leading to excess sugar in the blood.

It is not clear why this happens, but genetics and environmental factors are thought to play a role in this. Being overweight may also increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Gestational diabetes is caused by the hormones produced by the placenta. These lead to a greater resistance to insulin. Usually, more insulin is produced to counter this resistance, but sometimes it is not enough and this leads to excess blood sugar.

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What are the signs and symptoms of diabetes?

The symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are:

  • blurred vision
  • feeling very tired
  • feeling very thirsty
  • losing weight without trying
  • having breath that smells fruity
  • peeing more than usual, especially during the night
  • having itchy genitals or thrush that keeps coming back
  • having cuts, grazes or bruises that take a long time to heal.

Are you worried about your symptoms?

Many people experience new symptoms at some point in their life and it can feel worrying. It might be nothing but it’s important to get it checked. If you’re diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor will help you to understand your condition, your treatment plan and some easy steps you can take to manage it.

Why healthy diet is so important?

Your diet should include fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. Choose foods that are high in nutrition value and rich in fiber but low in calories and fat. Refined carbohydrates, sweets and saturated fats must be avoided. A dietician will help you choose foods that are good for you and avoid those that can be harmful. You may also refer to the above recommended programs for managing the diabetes efficiently.