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What is diabetes

What is Diabetes ?

Diabetes is a serious complex condition which can affect the entire body. It is described as a chronic condition, meaning that it lasts for a long time, often for someone’s whole life.

In diabetes, the body does not properly process food for use as energy. The body needs a special sugar called glucose as its main source of fuel or energy. Most of the food we eat such as breads, breakfast cereals, rice, pasta, potatoes milk, yoghurt and fruit is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy.

When our food is digested, the glucose makes its way into our bloodstream. The glucose is carried around the body in the blood - the level should not go too high or low.

Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas, a gland sitting just below the stomach. After eating, the pancreas automatically releases an adequate quantity of insulin to move the glucose present in our blood into the cells, as soon as glucose enters the cells blood-glucose levels drop. Insulin, thus serves as a “key” to open your cells, to allow the glucose to enter and allow you to use the glucose for energy.

When you have diabetes, your body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugars to build up in your blood.

Unhealthy levels of blood glucose leads to short term and long term complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations.

Diabetes is not one condition. There are three main types.


Type 1- Insulin dependent or juvenile diabetes. Less common form.


Type 2- Non-Insulin dependent or mature-age onset diabetes. Most common form.


Gestational diabetes- Occurs during pregnancy and usually goes away once the baby is born.

All the types of diabetes are serious and complex. An important point to note about diabetes is that it does not discriminate. Anyone can develop diabetes.



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  3. . Diabetes: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment [online]. Accessed from URL: [Accessed on 21st October 2020]

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