- What is diabetes?
- What is the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes?
- Is diabetes curable?
- Is diabetes treatable?
- What causes diabetes?
- How do I know if I have diabetes?
- Is there any way to prevent diabetes?
- How common is diabetes?
- Is diabetes life-threatening?
- How often will I need to check my blood sugar level?
Diabetes occurs when the blood sugar levels in the body are too high. This can be due to insufficient insulin production or a complete lack of insulin.
Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed when the body does not produce any insulin at all. It tends to be identified at a young age, with treatment taking the form of insulin injections. Type 2 diabetes is when the body produces insufficient amounts of insulin, or the body cannot respond properly to the insulin that is produced. It is usually detected in older individuals, with treatment taking the form of dietary changes and, if necessary, medication.
There is currently no cure for either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.
Yes, it is possible to manage and control both types of diabetes. The course of treatment will depend on which type of diabetes you have. You will likely be advised to make some dietary changes. Type 1 diabetes is managed by insulin injections, whereas for Type 2 diabetes dietary and lifestyle changes are usually sufficient. It may also be necessary to take medication, of which there are several types, such as metformin. Your doctor will be able to advise you on which medication is appropriate for you.
Type 1 diabetes is caused because no insulin is being produced by the body. It is not yet known why the cells responsible for insulin production do not fulfil this role. Type 2 diabetes can be caused by a number of factors, including genetics, age, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.
Common symptoms for diabetes include weight loss, fatigue, increased thirst, genital itching and an increase in urination. Type 1 diabetes sufferers may also experience cramps, skin infections, constipation and changes to their vision.
There is no way to prevent Type 1 diabetes, but Type 2 diabetes can be avoided if a healthy lifestyle is followed, which includes a well-balanced diet and plenty of exercise. If you are considered to be at risk for Type 2 diabetes, for example if other family members have the condition, your doctor may recommend that you undergo screening so it can be identified as early as possible if it does develop.
Diabetes affects an estimated 2.8 million people in the UK, with Type 2 diabetes being far more common. Just 10% of people with diabetes have Type 1 diabetes.
According to the World Health Organisation, diabetes is a life-threatening condition. However, it is treatable and manageable and there are clinically proven medications available to help to do this. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you should take care to adjust your lifestyle so you are not placed at risk for further complications, such as kidney disease. You will need to monitor your blood sugar levels regularly to ensure you are not in any danger.
This will depend on your type of diabetes and what treatment plan you are following. You should discuss this question thoroughly with your doctor to determine how often you will need to check your blood sugar levels.