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25 Jan 2012
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Diabetes encompasses a group of metabolic diseases that stop the body from producing enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone that processes glucose (sugar) from the blood into the body's cells.

There are two types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

  • Type 1 diabetes is a result of the body's inability to produce insulin due to an autoimmune reaction that causes insulin-producing cells in the pancreas to destruct. This type of diabetes is usually caused by genetic factors or a trigger, and requires the sufferer to inject themselves with insulin.
  • Type 2 diabetes (often referred to as adult-onset diabetes) is a metabolic disorder where there are high levels of glucose in the blood. Lifestyle and genetic factors can cause this condition. If not kept under control, type 2 diabetes can lead to conditions such as high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure and diabetic retinopathy.



Causes of diabetes can include:

  • Genetic factors
  • Obesity
  • Chronic pancreatitis



Symptoms of diabetes can include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Lethargy and lack of energy
  • Poor eyesight / blurred vision
  • Frequent infections



Treatment for diabetes may include the following:

  • Eating a healthy and balanced diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Weight loss for individuals that are overweight or obese
  • Monitoring blood glucose levels
  • Insulin treatment
  • Medication


If you have any of the above symptoms, consult your general practitioner.




Video: Diabetes Overview



Video: Diabetes Overview

Video: What is Diabetes?




Diabetes NZ
Ministry of Health – Diabetes



NHS – Diabetes
Best Health BMJ – Diabetes
Diabetes UK
American Diabetes Association



Journal of the American Medical Association
British Medical Journal



Diabetes Daily – Forum
Diabetes UK Forum



The information above is of a general nature and is designed to provide you with an overview of the topic, with links to local and international resources that may be of interest.  We do our best to ensure that this information is accurate and up to date.

You should always, however, seek specific professional medical advice, treatment and care appropriate to you, and as such we strongly recommend you consult with your general practitioner first.



Updated April 2012
Image source: Wikimedia Commons – Diabetes