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Focus on Diabetes

15 November 2018

More than 425 million people live with diabetes, a condition that affects how the body produces insulin. There are three main kinds:

  1. Type 1 diabetes happens when the pancreas stops making insulin. Without insulin, sugar can’t be transported into cells and it stays in the blood. High blood sugar can harm many parts of the body, such as the eyes, heart, blood vessels, nerves, and kidneys. Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age, but it usually starts in children or young adults.
  2. Type 2 diabetes happens when your body can't use insulin the right way. Over time, the pancreas can't make enough insulin. People who are overweight, get little or no exercise, or have type 2 diabetes in their family are more likely to have problems with how insulin works in their bodies.
  3. Gestational diabetes only affects pregnant women, typically during their second or third trimester.

The symptoms of diabetes are:

  • being very thirsty,
  • being hungrier than usual,
  • frequent urination,
  • unexpected weight loss, and
  • blurry eyesight.

How can you prevent diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with a healthy lifestyle, including staying at a healthy weight, making healthy food choices, and getting regular exercise.

Type 1 diabetes can’t be prevented. Treatment for type 1 diabetes focuses on keeping blood sugar levels within a target range and doing things to reduce complications.