Diabetes is a condition in which the body does not properly use or produce insulin - a hormone produced by the pancreas that converts sugar, starches and other food into glucose which is used for our body’s energy needs. As a result, the glucose level in the blood is too high which in turn damages other parts of our body, including the kidneys, eyes and heart over a period of time.
Environmental factors (eg: unhealthy food habits, lack of exercise, smoking) and genetics contribute to the cause of diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin.
Type 2 diabetes results when the body cannot use the insulin it produces properly (also known as insulin resistance) or when some insulin is made, but not enough. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, accounting for 85 – 95% of all people with diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes which is discovered during pregnancy and usually disappears after the birth of the baby. These women are more likely to develop diabetes later in life. Special care needs to be taken during the pregnancy to monitor the baby's development.
The common symptoms of diabetes are frequent passing of urine, increased thirst, weakness and fatigue, weight loss, increased susceptibility to infections, and blurred vision.
40.9 million Indians currently have diabetes; this number is expected to rise to 69.9 million by 20251.
1. Diabetes Atlas 2006, International Diabetes FederationBack to top
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