Diabetes is a chronic, incurable disease that occurs when the body doesn’t produce any or enough insulin, leading to an excess of sugar in the blood. Insulin is a hormone, produced by the pancreas, which helps the cells of the body use the glucose (sugar) in food. Cells need this energy in order to function properly.
Sugar builds up in the bloodstream and is excreted in the urine.
Eventually, the high blood sugar caused by excessive amounts of glucose in the blood leads to a variety of complications, particularly for the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart and blood vessels.
There are different types of diabetes: prediabetes, type 1, type 2, gestational (pregnancy) diabetes and other types.
Type 1 diabetes
If you have type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. Your immune system attacks and destroys the cells in your pancreas that make insulin. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, although it can appear at any age. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day to stay alive.
Type 2 diabetes
If you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not make or use insulin well. You can develop type 2 diabetes at any age, even during childhood. However, this type of diabetes occurs most often in middle-aged and older people. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes.
Gestational diabetes develops in some women when they are pregnant. Most of the time, this type of diabetes goes away after the baby is born. However, if you’ve had gestational diabetes, you have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes late
- being very thirsty
- frequent urination
- weight loss
- increased hunger
- blurry vision
- tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
- frequent skin, bladder or gum infections
- wounds that don’t heal
- extreme unexplained fatigue
- Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test
- A1C test
- Random plasma glucose (RPG) test
- Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)
- Glucose challenge test