Diabetes Week 2023 – What is Diabetes?

Diabetes Week 2023 is here and we thought it would be a great time to start the Twin Waters Pharmacy. We will bring you regular posts about health topics and interesting topics to help you live happier and healthier lives. If there are topics that you want us to cover, let us know.

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What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects how your body processes blood sugar (glucose). There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.

Type 1

In this type, your immune system mistakenly attacks the cells in your pancreas that produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels. As a result, your body doesn’t produce enough insulin, leading to high blood sugar levels. The main effects of type 1 diabetes include:

  • High blood sugar: Elevated levels of blood sugar can lead to various symptoms like increased thirst, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, and blurred vision.
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis: If left untreated, type 1 diabetes can result in a life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA characterized by the buildup of ketones in the blood, leading to nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fruity-scented breath, and confusion.
  • Long-term complications: Poorly controlled type 1 diabetes can contribute to long-term complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, nerve damage (neuropathy), eye problems, and foot ulcers.

Type 2

In this type, your body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin or doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes is influenced by factors such as genetics, obesity, physical inactivity, and poor diet. The effects of type 2 diabetes include:

  • High blood sugar: Similar to type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes also leads to high blood sugar levels, causing symptoms like increased thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, and blurred vision.
  • Cardiovascular complications: Type 2 diabetes significantly increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack, stroke, and peripheral artery disease.
  • Kidney disease: Diabetes can damage the kidneys over time, leading to diabetic nephropathy and potentially requiring dialysis or kidney transplantation.
  • Nerve damage: High blood sugar levels can damage the nerves in your body, resulting in neuropathy, which commonly affects the feet and legs. Symptoms include pain, tingling, numbness, and a loss of sensation.
  • Eye problems: Diabetes can cause various eye conditions like diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma, which, if left untreated, can lead to vision loss or blindness.
  • Slow wound healing: High blood sugar levels can impair the body’s ability to heal wounds, making infections more likely and increasing the risk of complications, such as diabetic foot ulcers.

It’s important to manage diabetes effectively through lifestyle modifications, medication (if necessary), regular monitoring of blood sugar levels, and close medical supervision. By doing so, you can reduce the risk of complications and maintain a healthier life. Consulting with a healthcare professional will provide you with personalized guidance and support for managing your diabetes effectively.

Where Can I find out more about diabetes?

Everyone at Twin Waters Pharmacy is dedicated to your health. We can help you or your loved ones. Please get in contact with us or drop into the store.

You can also reach out to Diabetes Australia for a wonderful range of advice, education and support.