It can lead to limb amputation, kidney failure and loss of vision, but what is diabetes?

Diabetes occurs where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. There are two forms of the condition – Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body cannot produce insulin.

Around one in 10 people with diabetes have Type 1 and it usually affects children or young adults.

Type 1 diabetes means the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin. When insulin is not produced a person’s glucose levels increase, which can result in the body’s organs being damaged.

People living with Type 1 diabetes are reliant on insulin injections and they need to keep a close eye on their blood glucose levels to ensure they stay balanced

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Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or the insulin produced does not work properly and can be linked to lifestyle factors such as being overweight.

However, one man, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, has cured himself of the disease just by changing his diet.

If diabetes is not properly managed it can lead to serious consequences such as sight loss, limb amputation, kidney failure and stroke.

Figures have revealed that every week there are over 100 amputations due to people controlling their diabetes poorly.

Chief executive of Diabetes UK, Chris Askew has warned there is a ‘crisis’ surrounding the illness and said people aren’t aware of the seriousness of the condition.

This Diabetes Week we are setting the record straight and focusing on the realities of living with the condition,” he said.

“There is still a lack of understanding when it comes to people being aware of the seriousness of diabetes and this worries us at Diabetes UK.

“There are over four million people living with the condition in the UK. The fact that 4,500 people will discover they have diabetes over the next seven days is deeply concerning, and highlights the current scale of the crisis.”

He said the charity wants to share concerns about the scale and seriousness of diabetes but, added it was a ‘fantastic opportunity’ to highlight that with the right healthcare, support and management diabetes doesn’t have to hold anyone back.”

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Many people have blood sugar levels above the normal range – but not high enough to be diagnosed as having diabetes – which is a condition called prediabetes.

NHS choices said the main symptoms of diabetes are: feeling very thirst, 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, feeling tired, cuts or wounds which heal slowly and blurred vision.

Experts argue it is important for diabetes to be diagnosed as early as possible because it will get worse if left untreated.

Type 1 diabetes can develop quickly over weeks or even days.

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Many people have type 2 diabetes for years without realising because the early symptoms tend to be general.

Anshu Bhimbat, LloydsPharmacy pharmacist, said: “Many people think that Type 2 diabetes is a direct result of being obese and whilst obesity – in particular fat around the stomach – increases your risk of the condition, this is not the only cause.

“Genetics, ethnicity and age can all play a role in Type 2 diabetes. For example, people of south Asian, Chinese, African-Caribbean and black African descent are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.

“We should look at the physical and psychological effects of diabetes so we can help patients. We also need to educate the general public on living a healthy lifestyle to help manage the condition once diagnosed.”

People living with diabetes should have eight annual health checks: Blood pressure, cholesterol, stop smoking services, BMI, foot check, blood glucose, Urine albumin and Serum Creatinine checks.

This comes after one woman with type 1 diabetes was nearly blinded after blood vessels in her eye burst.

SOURCE / Reference : http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/680123/what-is-diabetes-type-1-type-2-diabetes-symptoms-condition

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