Diabetes is a serious chronic condition in which an individual’s blood glucose levels are too high. This year, July 9th-15th is Diabetes Awareness Week, and to mark the occasion, we will be examining what causes diabetes, and what measures can be taken to prevent it.
In a healthy body, the hormone insulin is important for converting glucose into energy. However, when people have diabetes, their body is unable to produce or use insulin effectively, resulting in a build-up of glucose in the blood. Although diabetes can usually be well-managed through self-care and daily treatment, there are many potential side effects of the condition, such as heart attack, kidney disease, anxiety and depression.
Who does it affect?
There are three types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Each type of diabetes typically affects a different group of individuals.
Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease which is often diagnosed during childhood. It is managed through daily insulin injections or through the use of an insulin pump. It is not known what causes type 1 diabetes and the condition cannot be prevented.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common diabetic condition, representing approximately 85-90% of all diabetes diagnoses. Type 2 diabetes is closely associated with lifestyle factors, and this condition can be managed with a healthy diet, physical activity and weight loss. In the later stages of the condition, most individuals with type 2 diabetes will eventually require insulin to treat their symptoms.
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes which occurs during pregnancy and only affects pregnant women. After the baby is born, the condition typically goes away and blood glucose levels usually return to normal. However, having gestational diabetes during pregnancy results in a higher likelihood of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the future.
Risk factors for type 2 diabetes
You may be at a greater risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes if you:
– Have a family member who has diabetes
– Are aged 55 years old or older
– Are overweight, or
– Have high blood pressure.
If you would like further advice or information about lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes, please don’t hesitate to book an appointment or contact Encompass Medical Centre today.
Encompass Medical Centre
533 Blackburn Road
Mt Waverley, VIC, 3149
03 8545 9955