Diabetes, often referred to by doctors as diabetes mellitus, describes a group of metabolic diseases in which the person has high blood glucose (blood sugar), either because insulin production is inadequate, or because the body's cells do not respond properly to insulin, or both.
Types of diabetes
- Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease where the body's immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. People with type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin and require lifelong insulin injections for survival. The disease can occur at any age, although it mostly occurs in children and young adults. Type 1 diabetes is sometimes referred to as 'juvenile onset diabetes' or 'insulin dependent diabetes'.
- Type 2 diabetes is associated with hereditary factors and lifestyle risk factors including poor diet, insufficient physical activity and being overweight or obese. People with type 2 diabetes may be able to manage their condition through lifestyle changes; however, diabetes medications or insulin injections may also be required to control blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes occurs mostly in people aged over 40 years old; however, the disease is also becoming increasingly prevalent in younger age groups.
- Diabetes is a chronic condition associated with abnormally high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood.
- Insulin produced by the pancreas lowers blood glucose.
- Absence or insufficient production of insulin causes diabetes.
- Symptoms of diabetes include increased urine output, thirst, hunger, and fatigue.
- Diabetes is diagnosed by blood sugar (glucose) testing.
- The major complications of diabetes are both acute and chronic.