What is Diabetes?
June 7th until June 13th is Diabetes Week, but what is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar levels to become unregulated. It is split into two types:
• Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, but usually appears before the age of 40, particularly in childhood. Around 10% of all diabetes is type 1, but it's the most common type of childhood diabetes. This is why it's sometimes called juvenile diabetes or early-onset diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas (a small gland behind the stomach) doesn't produce any insulin – the hormone that regulates blood glucose levels. This is why it's also sometimes called insulin-dependent diabetes.
• In type 2 diabetes, the body either doesn't produce enough insulin to function properly, or the body's cells don't react to insulin. Around 90% of adults with diabetes have type 2, and it tends to develop later in life than type 1.
The symptoms of diabetes include; feeling very thirsty, passing more water, particularly at night, tiredness and loss of weight and muscle mass.
The treatments for type 1 and 2 diabetes are insulin injections. An insulin pump (which constantly pumps insulin into your body at a controlled rate,) or islet cell transplantation (where healthy insulin-producing cells from the pancreas of a deceased donor are implanted into the pancreas,) are also available for people with type 1 diabetes
In 2010, there were approximately 3.1 million people aged 16 or over with diabetes (both diagnosed and undiagnosed) in England, by 2030, this figure is expected to rise to 4.6 million, with 90% of those affected having type 2 diabetes.
The charity Diabetes UK estimates that around 850,000 people in England have diabetes but haven't been diagnosed.
Carlos Lopez, Head of the clinical negligence team, commented, “Diabetes awareness week, is a campaign designed to raise the profile of the causes and effects of diabetes. Significantly, the condition is on the increase in the UK and will have a significant effect, not only on public health but also NHS resources. Late diagnoses of Diabetes can lead to serious conditions such as diabetic ketoacidosis, which occurs when the body can’t break down glucose because of a lack of insulin, so begins breaking down other body tissues as an alternative energy source, and other serious conditions such as blindness, due to diabetic retinopathy.”
If you are worried that you might be affected by diabetes, you should seek the advice of your doctor. More often than not, a simple urine test followed by a quick blood test can identify whether you are affected by the condition.
If you are concerned that your diabetes has been mismanaged by a healthcare professional, contact Carlos and his team on 0800 310 2000.
More information can be found at http://www.diabetes.org.uk