What is DIABETES
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that auses a person's blood sugar level to become too high.
There are 2 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 does not produce enough insulin, or the body's cells do not react to insulin.
Type 2 diabetes is far more common that type 1. In the UK, around 90% of all adults with diabetes have type 2.
Further, during pregnancy, some women have such high levels of blood glucos that their body is unable to produce enough insulin to absorb it all. THis is known as gestational diabetes.
To learn more about type 1 diabetes, click here.
To learn more about type 2 diabetes, click here.
To learn more about gestational diabetes, click here.
What causes 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 does not work properly.
There are no lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk of type 1 diabetes.
You can help manage type 2 diabetes through healthy eating, regular exercise and achieving a healthy body weight.
To learn how to reduce your risk of getting diabetes, click here.
Do I have DIABETES?
Many people have type 2 diabetes without realising. This is because symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell.
To find out if you might have type 2 diabetes, click on one of the following self-assessments:
For type 2 diabetes self-assessment by NHS England, click here.
For diabetes self-assessment by patient.co.uk, click here.
What treatment is available ?
Most people need medicine to control their type 2 diabetes. Medicine helps keep your blood surar level as normal as possible to prevent health problems. You may have to take it for the rest of your life.
Diabetes usually gets worse over time, so your medicine or dose may need to change. For more information on medicines, click here.
Adjusting your diet and being active is very necessary to keep your blood sugar level down. For more information on food and keeping active, click here.
I want to learn more. Are there any online videos I can watch?
Yes there is. The NHS has put together a number of videos. You can search for these on Youtube. A selection, however, are as follow: