Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Hyperglycaemia, or raised blood sugar, is a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes and over time leads to serious damage to many of the body’s systems, especially the nerves and blood vessels. Understanding your blood glucose levels is a key part of understanding diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes: (previously known as insulin-dependent, juvenile or childhood-onset) is characterized by deficient insulin production and requires daily administration of insulin.
Symptoms include excessive urination (polyuria), thirst (polydipsia), constant hunger, weight loss, vision changes, and fatigue. These symptoms may occur suddenly.
Type 2 diabetes: (previously known as non-insulin-dependent, or adult-onset) results from the body’s ineffective use of insulin. Type 2 diabetes comprises the majority of people with diabetes around the world, and is largely the result of excess body weight, physical inactivity or other conditions.
How can the burden of diabetes be reduced?
Simple lifestyle measures have been shown to be effective in preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes. To help prevent type 2 diabetes and its complications, people should:
Diagnosis and treatment
Early diagnosis can be accomplished through testing of blood sugar levels.
Blood glucose monitoring devices are readily available to help patients monitor their glucose levels and seek the correct treatment.
In addition to diet, physical activity and routine monitoring, medications are available which include Insulin injections and blood glucose lowering medications. It is equally important to seek supportive measures such as diabetic foot care, skin care, health supplements, and smoking cessation options to help control diabetes.
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