Diabetes is a chronic health condition that occurs when the body is unable to produce or effectively use insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. When insulin is not functioning properly, it can lead to high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood, which can cause a range of health problems.
There are two main types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes: This is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Type 1 diabetes usually develops in childhood or adolescence, and people with this type of diabetes require daily insulin injections to regulate their blood sugar levels.
Type 2 diabetes: This is the most common type of diabetes and occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or does not produce enough insulin to meet the body's needs. Type 2 diabetes is often linked to lifestyle factors such as poor diet, lack of exercise, and obesity. Other risk factors include a family history of diabetes or having had gestational diabetes. While it can be managed with lifestyle changes and medication, some people with type 2 diabetes may also require insulin therapy.
Diabetes can have a range of complications, including damage to the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and blood vessels, which can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other serious health problems. However, with appropriate management and support, many people with diabetes are able to lead healthy and active lives.
If you are concerned about your risk of developing diabetes or have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to speak to your GP. They can provide advice on how to manage your condition and help you to develop a personalised care plan that takes into account your specific needs and goals.