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Diabetes

25 Jan 2012
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OVERVIEW

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

Causes of diabetes can include:

  • Genetic factors
  • Obesity
  • Chronic pancreatitis

 

Symptoms

Symptoms of diabetes can include:

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

 

Treatment

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.

 

VIDEOS

 


Video: Diabetes Overview

 

 

Video: Diabetes Overview



Video: What is Diabetes?

 

RESOURCES & SUPPORT

Local

Diabetes NZ
Ministry of Health – Diabetes

 

International

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

 

RESEARCH

Journal of the American Medical Association
British Medical Journal

 

FORUMS

Diabetes Daily – Forum
Diabetes UK Forum

 

 

DISCLAIMER
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