Published 13th November 2018 by

What is Diabetes and Where Can You Find Support?

The basics

Diabetes is a condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high. There are two separate types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2.

So what is the difference?

Well if you have Type 1 then your body is unable to make any insulin. With Type 2 your body can’t quite produce enough insulin and the insulin that you do make isn’t able to work effectively.

According to Type 2 diabetes is far more common than Type 1. In fact in the UK around 90% of adults who have diabetes have Type 2.

The science

For people without diabetes, their pancreas can detect when glucose enters the bloodstream and releases the right amount of insulin, so the glucose can get into the cells. But for a person with diabetes, this system doesn’t work.

The risks

In both types of diabetes glucose can build up in your blood because it is unable to get into your cells. This can cause various problems such as fatigue, extreme thirst and increased chance of infections. If diabetes is not recognised and treated the problems can become more serious and cause damage to a person’s eyes, feet or kidneys.

The symptoms

It’s vital for diabetes to be diagnosed as early as possible to avoid issues later on, so do visit your GP if you are experiencing weight loss, blurred vision, fatigue, frequent urination or extreme thirst. Other symptoms could be cuts or wound which heal slowly or frequent episodes of thrush.

The support

If you have diabetes yourself or are caring for someone who has then Diabetes UK have a support forum that you can access. There is a thriving online community where you can exchange knowledge and share experiences with other people who have diabetes as well as their families and carers.