Thursday, April 16, 2009



Diabetes is a disease in which the body produces too little or ineffective insulin. This results in an abnormally high level of  glucose which can lead to serious complications after a long time. Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas, a gland found below the stomach. It maintains a normal glucose level by helping glucose to move from the blood stream into the body cells. As a result of insufficient or ineffective  insulin in a diabetes patient, glucose cannot enter the body cells and it remains in the blood, giving rise to high blood glucose level.

Risk Factors of Diabetes

Anyone can develop diabetes. But there are certain people who have a greater risk of getting diabetes. The risk factors are;-

Ø      Obesity                                                                                         

Ø      Physical inactivity                                    

Ø      Nutritional factor                                     

-                      increased intake of fats

-                      decreased intake of dietary fibre

-                      malnutrition during early life

-                      low birth weight

-           Family history of diabetes

-           Age

-           Ethnic group


Types of Diabetes

There are 2 main types;

Type 1 Diabetes


Ø      Usually develops in children and young adult

Ø      Can only be controlled by insulin injections as well as diet and exercise

Ø      Due to insufficient insulin

Ø      Usually strong family history

Symptoms of Diabetes 


Ø      Excessive thirst

Ø      Frequent urination

Ø      Weight loss despite good appetite

Ø      Tiredness or lethargy

Ø      Slow healing of wounds and cuts

Ø      Itchiness especially in the genital area


Complications of Diabetes

 Untreated or uncontrolled diabetes can lead to serious complications. Common complications of diabetes are;-

 Ø      Kidney disease

Ø      Heart attack

Ø      Blindness

Ø      Coma or loss of consciousness

Ø      High blood pressure

Ø      Stroke

Ø      Damage to the nerves

Ø      Gangrene or decay of the limbs


Prevention of Diabetes

 Diabetes, in particular Type 11 diabetes, often associated with overweight, may be prevented by;-


Ø      Having a healthy weight. Insulin seems to work less effectively in people who  are overweight. A healthy weight range is having a Body Mass Index [BMI] of 20-less than 25


 Weight [kg]

BMI =   --------------------------------------

           Height [m] X Height [m]


Ø      Eating a wide variety of foods

Ø      Avoiding deep fried foods  and choosing low fat foods

Ø      Eating according to your age and level of activity

Ø      Eating more fruits, vegetables, beans, pulses and cereals

Ø      Eating regularly and avoiding snacks in between meals

Ø      Exercising regularly, at least 3 times a week, 20 – 30 minutes each  time





Is Diabetes Curable?


Diabetes is not curable. It can, however, be controlled. To control diabetes means keeping  the level of glucose in the blood within the normal range.


Pay careful attention to the following;-

Ø      Medication

Ø      Healthy diet

Ø      Keeping to a healthy weight range

Ø      Regular exercise

Ø      Preventing infections





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