Insulin helps your body turn food into energy and controls blood sugar levels. A person with diabetes does not produce enough insulin, or their body does not use it as it should. According to the International Diabetes Federation, diabetes affects one in ten people worldwide, and almost half do not know they have it.
There are three main types of diabetes – type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant).
Type 1 diabetes is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction, where your body does not make insulin. It can be diagnosed at any age, and symptoms develop quickly. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin daily.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. With this type of diabetes, your body does not make enough insulin and can’t keep your blood sugar at normal levels. It can be prevented with healthy lifestyle changes – such as maintaining a healthy weight, eating healthily and being active.
If left untreated, diabetes can have some severe health complications. It can lead to cardiovascular problems, including heart attacks and strokes, problems with your eyes, kidney disease, nerve damage, gum disease or oral complications.
If you suspect that you might have diabetes, please visit your healthcare practitioner as soon as possible.