Diabetes - The Basics:
Diabetes is a serious life-long health condition that occurs when the amount of glucose in the blood is too high because the body can't use it properly. If left untreated, high blood glucose levels can cause serious health complications such as heart problems, nerve damage, eye problems and foot problems.
Glucose is a sugar found in food which the body uses for energy. It mainly comes from foods rich in carbohydrate such as bread, pasta and rice but is also found in food and drink high in sugar such as cakes, biscuits and fizzy drinks.
There are two main types of diabetes:
Type 1 and Type 2.
They are different conditions, caused by different things, but they are both serious and need to be treated and managed properly.
What is insulin?
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that plays the very important role of breaking down carbohydrates in our bodies into glucose.
Insulin moves glucose into our cells, where it is used as fuel for energy. It may help to imagine insulin as a key, which unlocks the doors to the cells, allowing glucose to enter them.
Other types of diabetes?
In addition to Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes, there are a range of other rarer types, which are just as important. These are:
- Maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY)
- Neonatal diabetes
- Wolfram Syndrome
- Alström Syndrome
If you add up everyone with the rarer types of diabetes together that's quite a lot of people. Unfortunately, many of these people are misdiagnosed leading to delays in getting the right treatment. Diabetes UK has been at the forefront of much research to support and ensure better diagnosis and treatments for all types of diabetes, to find out more go to: www.diabetes.org.uk
This page is still under development.
The eatwell plate is applicable to most people including those who are of a healthy weight as well as those who are under or overweight.