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Diabetes causes, symptoms and treatment

While an estimated 5-6 per cent of Australians have diabetes, it is important to know what causes it, how it can be treated and prevented.

Diabetes is a condition that affects blood sugar because your body has trouble converting glucose into energy, which leads to high levels of sugar in the blood. Usually, insulin controls blood sugar levels but when the pancreas can’t produce enough of it or your body can’t use it, diabetes occurs. So, it’s critical to monitor blood glucose levels.

Types of diabetes:

Type 1

Type 1 diabetes causes the body’s immune system to break down cells that produce insulin in the pancreas which results in high blood sugar.

Type 2

Type 2 diabetes causes the body’s cells not to respond to insulin effectively which causes glucose to stay in the blood. It is commonly referred to as adult-onset diabetes.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes causes a woman to experience high blood glucose levels during pregnancy which is a risk factor for developing Type 2 Diabetes in the future. It usually goes away on its own after the pregnancy is complete.

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

You should see your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms: feeling tired and lethargic, urinating more than usual, having excessive thirst or hunger, itchy skin or cuts that won’t heal very quickly, blurred vision or unexplained weight loss. Most people with Type 1 diabetes are diagnosed before they are adults while people with Type 2 diabetes may not show any symptoms until later in life.

How is diabetes treated?

Diabetes treatment can vary depending upon the type. Type 1 diabetics are insulin-dependent and can inject themselves with insulin or use an insulin pump. Type 1 diabetes treatment can help to reduce the risk of developing serious complications such as kidney disease and problems with the eyes and feet. Diabetes treatment for Type 2 can focus on changes to lifestyle such as exercise and diet but eventually,0 you may require medication.

Preventing diabetes

While Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, it can be managed. Maintaining a healthy weight and getting enough exercise with an added healthy diet can help manage blood glucose levels within a healthy range in addition to medication. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help in preventing diabetes for Type 2 risk. Regular physical activity, healthy eating and losing weight can all help in delaying or preventing Type 2 diabetes. Preventing diabetes has benefits that far extend energy levels and short-term health outcomes. It’s a complex disease which can increase risks of heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, preventable blindness, increases in foot and leg ulcers, and kidney failure.

So, if you are concerned about diabetes causes, diabetes treatment or preventing diabetes, make an appointment to see a GP at Drayton Street Family Practice today. Call us on (07) 4171 0711.

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