What is it?

Diabetes is the name given to a group of different conditions in which the body cannot maintain healthy levels of glucose (a type of sugar) in the blood. Glucose builds up in the blood leading to high blood glucose levels which cause the health problems linked to diabetes.

There are two main types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes:

  • Where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin.

Type 2 diabetes:

  • Where the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin.

What are the symptoms?

The main symptoms of diabetes are:

  • Feeling very thirsty.
  • 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.
  • Cuts or wounds that heal slowly.
  • Blurred vision.

Type 1 diabetes can develop quickly over weeks or even days. Many people have type 2 diabetes for years without realising because the early symptoms tend to be general.

What to expect?

If you are diagnosed with diabetes, you can consider discussing the following subjects with your doctor after the initial treatment:

  • Do you need a stricter control of other medical conditions you may have, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol?
  • Some patients with diabetes are prescribed medication they will need to use lifelong. Is this the case for you as well?
  • A healthy diet and an active lifestyle can help in preventing diabetes. Which changes can you make in your lifestyle? If overweight or obese, how regular exercise should be and what type of exercise is needed?
  • Quitting smoking is important in preventing diabetes and its complications. Are you open to stop smoking? Is your doctor able to support you with this?

When you experience any of the following, seek immediate help:

  • Vomiting.
  • Dizziness.
  • Loss of consciousness.

Think you might have Diabetes?

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Think you might have Diabetes?