Diabetes – How Much Do We Know ?

We’ve all heard of diabetes – but what many of us may not know is just how serious and widespread the condition is. Poorly controlled  diabetes greatly increases the risk of a host of diseases and medical complications that can affect the whole body. These include nerve damage, blindness, heart and blood vessel diseases, stroke , kidney failure and amputations.

in 2014, diabetes was present in half of all heart attack cases; two in three new kidney failure cases; and two in five stroke cases. Additionally, the disease has a profound impact on quality of life, shortens life expectancy by 12 to 14 years and imposes a large financial and social burden on familites.


Sickly Sweet Danger

So what is diabetes ? The disease is more than a case of eating too much sugar. Diabetes is a failure of the body to recognise sugar and convert it to energy. This can happen when the body cannot produce insulin at all or when it becomes resistant to insulin. Insulin is a hormone that tells the body when to use sugar (glucose) or when to store it for the future. In this way, insulin regulates blood sugar levels from getting too high or too low.

Type 1 diabetes

Occurs when the body cannot produce insulin at all. This condition is usually diagnosed in childhood and those with Type 1 diabetes require daily insulin injections for life. This form of diabetes is congenital and cannot be prevented.


Tpye 2 diabetes

Occurs when cells are insulin-resistant and cannot recognise insulin. This causes them to lose their ability to know when to absorb and use sugars in the blood. This causes cells to starve and glucose to build up in the bloodstream. Excessive amounts of undigested sugars in the bloodstream build up over time, cause damage to delicate cells and blood vessels across the whole body – particularly those in the nerves, eyes, kidneys and heart.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 per cent of diabetes cases. This form of diabetes typically occurs in adults and is largely due to a mix of genetic factors and preventable lifestyle factors.

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Category: Managing Diabetes