Diabetes is a chronic disease where your blood glucose (or blood sugar), which is your main source of energy, is too high. Insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas, helps glucose from food get into your cells to be used for energy. When your body doesn’t make enough or any insulin or doesn’t use insulin well, glucose stays in your blood and doesn’t reach your cells. Too much sugar in the blood can lead to serious health problems.
The two main types of diabetes are type 1 and type 2.
Type 1 diabetes often starts during childhood or teen years. Type 2 diabetes, the more common type, can develop at any age but is more common in people older than 40, however it is increasing in children.
Diabetes symptoms depend on how high your blood sugar is. In type 1 diabetes, symptoms are quicker and more severe.
Some of the symptoms include:
You are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes with the following:
Long-term complications of diabetes develop gradually. The longer you have diabetes and the less controlled your blood sugar the higher the risk of complications.
Possible complications include:
Type 2 diabetes can be prevented:
Treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes varies, type 1 is managed by multiple daily insulin injections and type 2 diabetes may be managed by diet alone or in conjunction with tablets or sometimes insulin.
Consult your doctor if you are at risk of diabetes or if you have been diagnosed with diabetes.
The only conclusive test for diabetes is a blood test. However, the quiz should give you an indication of whether to seek urgent help, or whether to raise the issue at your next GP appointment.