What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition in which the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly. We get glucose from starchy foods in our diet such as pasta, bread and cakes.
The hormone insulin is responsible for maintaining the glucose level in the blood. Insulin moves glucose from the blood and stores it in the body's cells where it can be drawn upon for energy. If an individual has diabetes this is because either the body is not making enough insulin or the use of insulin within the body is poor.
There are two main types of diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes develops if the body cannot produce any insulin. Type 1 diabetes usually appears before the age of 40. It is the least common of the two main types and accounts for around 10 per cent of all people with diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes develops when the body can still make some insulin, but not enough, or when the insulin that is produced does not work properly (known as insulin resistance). In most cases this is linked with being overweight. This type of diabetes usually appears in people over the age of 40, although in South Asian and African Caribbean people, it often appears after the age of 25. Recently more children are being diagnosed with the condition, some as young as seven. Type 2 diabetes is the more common of the two main types and accounts for around 90 per cent of people with diabetes. The risk of developing Type 2 diabetes can be reduced by changes in lifestyle.
More info: Diabetes Risk Awareness Service