BLOG - WHAT IS DIABETES? THE FIRST OF THREE BLOGS ON DIABETES. 

The number of people being diagnosed with diabetes is growing and I know from experience that many people feel that it is inevitable because their mother or grandfather or someone had it, but this is not necessarily true.  
 
Unfortunately, with the increases in diagnoses comes an increase in complacency towards the disease and indeed many people have a limited understanding of diabetes. 
 
So, What Exactly is Diabetes? 
Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes are NOT the same disease. 
 
Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune condition.  
Autoimmune describes a disease where the body attacks itself. In this case the body attacks the cells that make insulin. Insulin asks like a vehicle that moves glucose out of our blood and into our cells where we use it for energy. Without insulin, glucose stays in the blood and the levels get higher and higher making the person dangerously ill. Only 1 in 10 people with Diabetes have Type 1 and often this develops in childhood. It is treated with insulin. 
 
Type 2 Diabetes is an endocrine condition.  
Endocrine describes conditions relating to hormone production. Insulin is a hormone. In Type 2 Diabetes the body either does not produce enough insulin or the insulin produced is not very effective. This allows blood sugar levels to rise which can cause many health problems. Type 2 Diabetes can be treated through dietary and lifestyle changes, medication or if necessary, insulin. 
 
People develop Type 2 Diabetes through a number of factors and these pose a higher risk the more apply to you. 
• Hereditary 
• Obesity 
• High Cholesterol 
• High Blood Pressure 
• Physical Inactivity 
• Age 
 
Type 2 Diabetes has been called the silent killer because it can be around for years before being diagnosed. There are some symptoms to watch out for: increased thirst and frequent trips to the loo as the body tries to flush out excess glucose; tiredness as the glucose is not in the cells to provide energy; losing weight; vaginal dryness and thrush as increased sugar levels provide conditions suitable for fungal growth; blurred vision; slower healing. 
 
Left untreated the increased blood glucose levels in Diabetes can affect your heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves. 
 
Getting tested and beginning treatment is the most important thing you can do in Diabetes care as early intervention will prevent complications and can even reverse the diagnoses. 
 
I will explain why podiatrists are so important to diabetics next week. 
Tagged as: Diabetes
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