Diabetes

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
  • type 2 diabetes – where the body doesn't produce enough insulin, or the body's cells don't react to insulin

In the UK, around 90% of all adults with diabetes have type 2.

NHS Choices information on Type 1 Diabetes

NHS Choices information on Type 2 Diabetes

It's very important for diabetes to be diagnosed as early as possible because it will get progressively worse if left untreated.

The main symptoms of diabetes are:

  • feeling very thirsty
  • urinating more frequently than usual, particularly at night
  • feeling very tired
  • weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
  • itchiness around the genital area, or regular bouts of thrush (a yeast infection)
  • blurred vision caused by the lens of your eye changing shape
  • slow healing of cuts and grazes

See your GP if you think you may have diabetes.

 

Diabetes in pregnancy

During pregnancy, some women have such high levels of blood glucose that their body is unable to produce enough insulin to absorb it all. This is known as gestational diabetes.

Any woman can develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy, but you're at an increased risk if:

  • your body mass index (BMI) is above 30 – use the healthy weight calculator to work out your BMI
  • you previously had a baby who weighed 4.5kg (10lbs) or more at birth
  • you had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy
  • one of your parents or siblings has diabetes
  • your family origins are south Asian, Chinese, African-Caribbean or Middle Eastern

If any of these apply to you, you should be offered screening for gestational diabetes during your pregnancy.

 

NHS Choices information on gestational diabetes

 

Pre-diabetes

Many more 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.

 

Find out your risk of Type 2 Diabetes using this risk calculator from Diabetes UK. 

 

Information from Patient.info on pre-diabetes

 

Patient groups and support

Diabetes UK

Diabetes UK also has a local group for Weston-super-Mare which can be contacted at

Diabetes UK  W-s-M c/o 52 Knightcott Road, Banwell  BS29 6HF

Tel: 01934 822679          email: annbar.gorran@gmail.com