Diabetes is a chronic medical condition that affects how your body processes glucose, a form of sugar that serves as the primary source of energy for your cells. There are several different types of diabetes, but the most common ones are Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes, often referred to as juvenile diabetes, is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas.

People with Type 1 diabetes require lifelong insulin therapy to manage their blood sugar levels because their bodies can no longer produce insulin.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, typically occurring in adulthood. However, it can also develop in children and adolescents.

In Type 2 diabetes, the body either does not produce enough insulin or becomes resistant to the effects of insulin. This results in elevated blood sugar levels.

Lifestyle factors like poor diet, obesity, and a lack of physical activity can contribute to the development of Type 2 diabetes. Genetics also play a role.

Treatment for Type 2 diabetes often involves a combination of lifestyle changes (such as a healthier diet and increased physical activity) and, in some cases, medications or insulin.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy when the body cannot produce enough insulin to meet the increased demand.

It usually resolves after childbirth, but women who develop gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.

Common symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Increased thirst and frequent urination
  • Unexplained weight loss (more common in Type 1)
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow-healing wounds
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands and feet

Complications of uncontrolled diabetes can be serious and include:

  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Kidney damage
  • Nerve damage
  • Vision problems, including blindness
  • Foot problems, sometimes leading to amputation
  • Skin and mouth conditions
  • Dental issues
  • Complications during pregnancy

The management of diabetes typically involves maintaining healthy blood sugar levels through a combination of medication (such as insulin or oral medications) and lifestyle modifications, including a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and monitoring blood glucose levels.

It’s essential for individuals with diabetes to work closely with healthcare professionals to create a personalised care plan to prevent complications and lead a healthy life.