Diabetes Awareness Week runs 8 June to 14 June 2020.
There are currently around 3.7 million diagnosed cases of diabetes across the UK, with many at risk of developing some form of the disease due to factors such as childhood obesity.
So what are the symptoms of diabetes, what’s the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, how is it caused and how can it be treated?
Here’s everything you need to know about diabetes:
What is diabetes and how is it caused?
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates your blood sugar levels.
It does this by breaking down the glucose that’s in your blood so that it can be used for energy, explains the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
When a person has diabetes, then this means that their pancreas is unable to produce enough or any insulin to break down the glucose in their blood.
This can lead to a drastic increase in their blood sugar levels.
The amount of blood glucose that you have in your body typically depends on the foods that you eat, hence if you eat sugary foods, your blood sugar levels will rise.
What are the different types of diabetes?
There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.
If someone is suffering from type 1 diabetes, then this means that their body isn’t producing any insulin at all and therefore has very serious implications for their health.
When someone has type 2 diabetes, this means that their body is either unable to produce enough insulin, or the insulin that the pancreas is able to produce isn’t working sufficiently.
Can diabetes be reversed?
In September 2018, former deputy leader of the Labour Party Tom Watson revealed that he’d been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, but had “reversed” the condition by making changes to his diet and exercising more.
If you have type 2 diabetes and you think that you may be able to reverse your condition by following a healthier diet and doing more exercise, then it may be wise to speak to a nutritionist or a medical professional for further advice.
Furthermore, if you’re on type 2 diabetes medication that you think you no longer need, make sure that you speak to a doctor before making any changes to your routine.