Custom Search 1

Are you pre-diabetic?

DIABETES IS a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high.

There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes, where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin and type 2 diabetes, where the body does not produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells do not react to insulin.

PRE-DIABETES

Many people have blood sugar levels above the normal range, but not high enough to be diagnosed as having diabetes. This is sometimes known as pre-diabetes. If your blood sugar level is above the normal range, your risk of developing full-blown diabetes is increased. It is very important for diabetes to be diagnosed as early as possible because it will get progressively worse if left untreated.

WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR

Visit your GP as soon as possible if you experience the main symptoms of diabetes, which include feeling very thirsty, urinating more frequently than usual – particularly at night –

CAUSES OF DIABETES

The amount of sugar in the blood is controlled by a hormone called insulin. When food is digested and enters your bloodstream, insulin moves glucose out of the blood and into cells, where it is broken down to produce energy. However, if you have diabetes, your body is unable to break down glucose into energy.

CAUSES OF DIABETES YOU CANNOT CONTROL

A number of other risk factors can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. These include being over 40 (or over 25 if you are African-Caribbean or south Asian) or having a close family member who has type 2 diabetes. If you have any of these risk factors, you should maintain a healthy weight to ensure that your risk of diabetes does not increase further.

LIVING WITH DIABETES

If you are diagnosed with diabetes, you will need to eat healthily, exercise regularly and carry out regular blood tests to ensure your blood glucose levels stay balanced. People diagnosed with type 1 diabetes also require regular insulin injections for the rest of their life. As type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition, medication may eventually be required, usually in the form of tablets.

ACTIONS TO TAKE STRAIGHT AWAY

If you think that you are at risk of developing the condition, the first step is to look at your diet and lifestyle and make any necessary changes. Three major areas that you will need to look closely at are: eating healthily, losing weight if you’re overweight, and exercising regularly. You may be able to keep your blood glucose at a safe and healthy level without the need for other types of treatment.

For more information visit the NHS Choices website: www.nhs.uk

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.

Annual subscription for The Voice newspaper print edition.

Read more stories like this in our weekly printed newspaper. To purchase an annual subscription and get 50% off, complete the form below and enter the code 'ONLINE2017' - offer ends 30 November.

* indicates required
() - (###) ###-####
Facebook Comments