Diabetes can profoundly affect overall health. Depending on its type, it can impair vital bodily functions, including insulin supply and blood sugar levels. Learn all about its types, symptoms, risk factors, and treatment, here.



What is diabetes?

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Diabetes happens when your body is unable to properly process food into energy. Your pancreas is supposed to produce insulin, which helps glucose move into the cells from the blood. When you have diabetes, your body does not use insulin as it should, or it does not produce it at all – leaving too much glucose in your blood, building up “high blood sugar”.

What are the different types of diabetes?

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There are different types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, also known as insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile onset diabetes, is an autoimmune condition. Antibodies attack your pancreas, impairing its ability to produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes is considered to be milder than Type 1 diabetes, and is usually the result of lifestyle choices. Obesity can often cause insulin resistance, which happens when cells don’t respond to insulin. This means the insulin produced by your pancreas is not enough to regulate your blood sugar levels. Gestational diabetes arises in some pregnant women, whose pregnancy causes insulin resistance. Since blood sugars travel throughout a woman’s placenta to the baby, it is important to control gestational diabetes in order to keep the baby safe and healthy.

Who is at risk of developing diabetes?

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Some people who have certain risk factors may be more likely to develop diabetes. These risk factors include the following: - Family history - Weight - Lack of physical activity - High blood pressure or hypertension - Age - Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

What health complications can arise from diabetes?

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People with diabetes also run the risk of developing the following health complications: - Heart disease - Eye and vision problems - Kidney complications - Stroke - Nerve damage - Hearing problems - Foot problems

What are the signs and symptoms of diabetes?

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You may have diabetes if you exhibit the following symptoms: - Feeling thirstier than usual or increased thirst - Sudden and unexplained weight loss - Urinating frequently; finding ants drawn to urine - Feeling extreme hunger - Blurred or impaired vision - Feeling regular fatigue and irritability - Slow-healing and frequent sores"

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