Diabetes is growing and its time we were all more aware!
So we all know that diabetes is a big problem and is currently only getting worse! Diabetes is a fairly common life long health condition but don’t panic most cases are treatable.
So what happens when you have diabetes?
To start to answer this we have to first address what diabetes is?
Diabetes is a condition where the level of glucose in your body is too high because the body is unable to use it properly. This is because your pancreas is not able to produce enough or any insulin or the insulin produced does not wok properly which is also know as insulin resistance. The role of insulin which is produced in the pancreas is to help glucose enter the bodies cells were it is used as fuel for energy.
What is Insulin?
Insulin is a hormone. It works as a chemical messenger that helps your body use the glucose in your blood to give you energy. You can think of it as the key that unlocks the door to the body’s cells. Once the door is unlocked glucose can enter the cells where it is used as fuel.
There are two types of diabetes and you should be aware of both, type 1 and the type 2 which is the most common.
Type 1: This is the type which insulin is not being produced. Due to this glucose can’t provided energy so the body tries to get it from elsewhere and starts to break down fat stores and protein instead, which can lead to weight loss. Excess glucose that could not be used is passed through into urine.
This type is normally found in childhood or before the age of 40 but can develop at any age. Type 1 diabetes is normally treated by daily insulin injections, a healthy diet and regular physical activity.
Type 2 (The more common type) : This is when there is not enough insulin being produced or the insulin produced is not working properly.
This type usually appears in people over the age of 40 and is more common in people of South Asian, African-Caribbean or Middle Eastern descent. Although it is becoming more common at younger ages. This type accounts for about 90% of all diabetes suffers and is normally treated with healthy diet and increased physical activity. In addition to this , medication/ insulin. is often required.
There are around 3 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK but whats more worrying is there are so many people that don’t even know they have it, an estimated 850,000 according to the NHS.
So if you learnt anything from this article please please please be more aware of diabetes, but more importantly please visit http://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Diabetes.aspx to take a quick self assessment to find out if you may be one of the undiagnosed suffers.