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Whether you’ve been recently diagnosed or you’ve had diabetes for years, we’re here to help with information about your condition and the best way to manage it to stay healthy, happy and active.
What is diabetes?
To provide our bodies with energy we all need glucose, which comes mainly from starchy foods (like bread, rice and potatoes), sugar and other sweet foods. After you’ve eaten, glucose levels in your blood increase and your body releases a hormone called insulin. This makes sure your glucose level doesn’t get too high or too low.
When you have diabetes, the amount of glucose in your blood is too high because your body can’t use it properly. That’s because your body’s either stopped producing insulin or it can’t produce enough to cope with the glucose in the blood.
There are two main types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes
Usually develops in people under 40 and occurs when the body can’t produce any insulin at all. Your body then uses other sources of energy and unused glucose in the blood builds up, often making you thirsty and needing to pass water frequently. The symptoms are obvious and develop suddenly, and treatment involves insulin injections, eating a healthy diet and keeping active.
Type 2 diabetes
Can develop at any age but it’s usually seen in people over 40. It’s when your body can still make some insulin but not enough, or the insulin your body’s producing doesn’t work properly. Most people with diabetes have Type 2. The symptoms are less obvious and develop relatively slowly – some people don’t notice any symptoms for many years. Type 2 can often be treated successfully with a healthy balanced diet and physical activity alone, but you may also need tablets or insulin injections.
The signs that you may have diabetes
It’s really important to get diagnosed early so that you can start taking control and looking after your health. So if you have any of these symptoms, talk to your pharmacy team or your doctor straight away:
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