Diabetes overview

Understanding Diabetes: A Crucial Health Concern

The Basics of Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition where the body’s ability to process blood glucose, also known as blood sugar, is impaired. When the body either fails to produce any insulin or doesn’t produce enough, it can’t convert sugars into fuel for the cells. This leads to elevated levels of glucose in the blood, a major health concern.

What Causes Diabetes?

Our diet, lifestyle, and exercise habits significantly contribute to the risk of developing diabetes. Consuming foods high in carbohydrates—like bread, potatoes, fruit, dairy products, and sugary foods—increases blood glucose levels. The pancreas produces a hormone called insulin, essential for transporting glucose into cells for energy. However, in people with diabetes, this process is hindered.

Types of Diabetes

There are two main types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 Diabetes: This type occurs when the body fails to produce insulin. It’s more common in individuals under the age of 14 and accounts for 5% to 15% of all diabetes cases. Symptoms include excessive thirst, frequent urination, weight loss, fatigue, and blurred vision.
  • Type 2 Diabetes: Characterized by insulin resistance, this type is often linked to being overweight and is more prevalent in individuals over 40. However, it’s increasingly being diagnosed in younger populations. Symptoms are similar to Type 1, with additional issues like slow-healing sores and leg pain.

Diabetes Prevalence in the UK

Approximately 25 million people in the UK live with diabetes, and many are unaware of their condition.

Managing Diabetes

Proper treatment can effectively manage diabetes. This includes insulin therapy, dietary adjustments, and lifestyle changes.

Recognizing and Treating High and Low Blood Sugar

Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) are two critical conditions that require immediate attention. Symptoms of hyperglycemia include frequent urination, drowsiness, and blurred vision, while hypoglycemia presents with shaking, sweating, and dizziness. In both cases, emergency care may be necessary.


Understanding and managing diabetes is vital for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Awareness of symptoms and timely treatment can prevent complications, ensuring those with diabetes lead full and active lives.

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