What exactly is it, its symptoms, and what happens after? Get a quick overview with this 2-minute read.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition that affects the body’s ability to convert glucose (sugar) into energy. This is a long-term problem, but if well managed, people with diabetes can still lead full lives. When we eat food with glucose (e.g. carbohydrates such as rice, bread, potatoes), which is the main source of fuel for our bodies, the hormone insulin will help to move glucose from the blood into the cells, so that they can be broken down into energy. When there is not enough insulin in the body (type 1), or if the insulin produced is defective (type 2), the level of glucose in the blood will get too high. That’s what happens with diabetics. Most cases of diabetes are type 2, and commonly occurs among people above 40.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms for type 1 and type 2 diabetics are similar, and include:
- Increased thirst
- Constant hunger
- Frequent urination
- Blurry vision
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unexplained fatigue
- Slow healing of wounds
What are the treatment options?
There is no cure for diabetes, but that doesn’t mean that nothing can be done. Patients with diabetes need to control their blood sugar levels and keep them as normal as possible, so that they can prevent complications. Patients with type 1 diabetes will need daily insulin injections for the rest of their lives, as their bodies are lacking in insulin. Treatment for patients with type 2 diabetes can vary, depending on the condition. For some, it could be a matter of adjusting their diet and lifestyle without any medication. Others might require medication to control their blood sugar levels, or to prevent other health complications such as heart attacks.