Diabetes is a problem with the body's fuel system. It is caused by a lack of insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas - an organ that secretes enzymes needed for digestion - that is essential for getting energy from food. There are two kinds of diabetes. Lifestyle factors generally create Type 2 diabetes or aggravates it. In Type 2, also called adult-onset diabetes, the body still makes some insulin, but cannot use it properly.
Most adults with diabetes have Type 2 which accounts for 90 per cent of all diabetes cases. In recent years, however, more and more adolescents, and even some children, have developed Type 2 diabetes because of obesity.
Lifestyle factors that increase your risk of diabetes
Type 2 diabetes used to be quite rare before middle age, but now affects more and more young people who are overweight. Being overweight, even as a child or teenager, is a significant risk factor for developing diabetes as an adult.
Diabetes in adults may start late. In fact, millions of people don’t even know they have it till it is diagnosed by measuring blood glucose. People with diabetes may just feel very tired at first, then later may have these symptoms:
· Frequent urination (more than normal). This is your body’s reaction as it tries to get rid of the extra sugar in the blood.
· Unusual thirst, as your body wants more liquid to replace the lost fluid.
· Blurred vision
· Weight loss even when you eat normal or more than normal.
· Frequent infections
· Slow healing wounds / sores
It is important to remember that symptoms of diabetes may not be the same for everyone. The symptoms of Type 2 diabetes may come on gradually. Some people may have no symptoms at all.
Untreated diabetes can cause serious health problems, such as blindness, heart and blood vessel damage, and permanent nerve damage.