Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Hyperglycaemia, or raised blood sugar, is a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes and over time leads to serious damage to many of the body’s systems, especially the nerves and blood vessels.
The most common types of diabetes are Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is characterized by deficient insulin production and requires daily administration of insulin. Type 2 diabetes results from the body’s ineffective use of insulin.
Treatment of diabetes involves diet and physical activity along with lowering of blood glucose and the levels of other known risk factors that damage blood vessels. Early diagnosis can be accomplished through relatively inexpensive testing of blood sugar.