all about diabetes

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic condition. This means that it lasts for a long time, often someone's lifetime. For our bodies to work properly we need to convert glucose (sugar) from food into energy. A hormone called insulin is essential for the conversion of glucose into energy. In people with diabetes, insulin is no longer produced or not produced in sufficient amounts by the body.

So when people with diabetes eat glucose, which is in foods such as bread, cereals, fruit and starchy vegetables, legumes, milk, yoghurt and sweets, it can’t be converted into energy. Instead of being turned into energy the glucose stays in the blood. This is why blood glucose levels are higher in people with diabetes. Glucose is carried around your body in your blood. Your blood glucose level is called glycaemia.

What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes?

People with type 2 diabetes often do not have any symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they are often ignored because they may not seem serious. Symptoms in type 1 diabetes usually come on much more suddenly and are often severe.

Common symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Excessive thirst and appetite
  • Increased urination (sometimes as often as every hour)
  • Unusual weight loss or gain
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea, perhaps vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • In women, frequent vaginal infections
  • In men and women, yeast infections
  • Dry mouth
  • Slow-healing sores or cuts
  • Itching skin, especially in the groin or vaginal area

 

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