: Diabetes describes a group of metabolic diseases in which the person has high blood glucose (blood sugar), the reason for this could be that the insulin production is inadequate or that the body's cells do not respond properly to insulin or both. Patients with high blood sugar experience frequent urination and they become increasingly thirsty and hungry. There are three types of diabetes:
1/ Type 1 Diabetes
The body does not produce insulin. Some people may refer to this type as insulin-dependent diabetes, juvenile diabetes or early-onset diabetes. People usually develop Type 1 diabetes before their 40th year, often in early adulthood or teenage years.
Patients with Type 1 diabetes need to take insulin injections for the rest of their life. They must also ensure proper blood-glucose levels by carrying out regular blood tests and following a special diet.
2/ Type 2 Diabetes
The body does not produce enough insulin for proper function or the cells in the body do not react to insulin (insulin resistance).
Some people may be able to control their Type 2 diabetes symptoms by losing weight, following a healthy diet, doing plenty of exercise and monitoring their blood glucose levels. However, Type 2 diabetes is typically a progressive disease. It gradually gets worse and the patient will probably end up having to take insulin usually in tablet form.
Overweight and obese people have a much higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes compared to those with a healthy body weight. The risk of developing Type 2 diabetes is also greater as we get older.
3/ Gestational Diabetes
This type of diabetes affects females during pregnancy. Some women have very high levels of glucose in their blood, and their bodies are unable to produce enough insulin to transport all of the glucose into their cells, resulting in progressively rising levels of glucose. Diagnosis of gestational diabetes is made during pregnancy. The majority of gestational diabetes patients can control their diabetes with exercise and diet. However a few must take some kind of blood glucose-controlling medications. Undiagnosed or uncontrolled gestational diabetes can raise the risk of complications during childbirth.
Symptoms of diabetes: The main symptoms of diabetes are:
feeling very thirsty
urinating more frequently than usual, particularly at night
feeling very tired
weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
itching around the penis or vagina, or frequent episodes of thrush
cuts or wounds that heal slowly
blurred vision (caused by the lens of the eye becoming dry
Diabetic eye screening: Everyone with diabetes aged 12 or over should be invited to have their eyes screened once a year. If you have diabetes, your eyes are at risk from diabetic retinopathy, a condition that can lead to sight loss if it's not treated. Screening, which involves a half-hour check to examine the back of the eyes, is a way of detecting the condition early so it can be treated more effectively.
It's very important for diabetes to be diagnosed as early as possible because it will get progressively worse if left untreated. You should therefore visit your doctor as soon as possible if you have symptoms, such as feeling thirsty, passing urine more often than usual, and feeling tired all the time.