Date: 18 May 2009
Diabetes is a condition where there is an abnormally high level of sugar (glucose) in the blood. This arises because the body produces little or insufficient insulin.
Insulin and blood glucose in your body
In your digestive system, most of the food you eat is broken down into glucose, a type of sugar. The glucose will be used by your body cells for growth and energy. To enable the glucose to enter into the cells, you need insulin.
Insulin is a hormone which is produced in the pancreas. Every time you eat, your pancreas releases more insulin. However, in people with diabetes, glucose cannot get into their cells because there is not enough insulin, either because the pancreas is damaged (type 1) or resistance to insulin action (type 2).
Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes
Many people are unaware that they have diabetes until complications set in. The signs and symptoms of diabetes are:
- constant tiredness
- excessive thirst
- frequent urination, especially at night
- unexplained weight loss
- blurred vision
- skin infections and itching in the genital areas
- slow healing of cuts and wounds
- numbness or burning sensations in the limbs.
If you have these symptoms or suspect that you may have diabetes, please consult your doctor for a blood sugar test.