Diabetes is a condition where the body is unable to properly use and store sugar (glucose). This results in high glucose levels in the blood which leads to tiredness, thirst, increased risk of infections, dehydration and in the long run damage to your organs like the heart, brain, eyes, kidneys, nerves etc.
There are three major types of diabetes.
1. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body completely stops producing any insulin, a hormone secreted from the pancreas that enables the body to use glucose found in foods for energy. People with type 1 diabetes must take daily insulin injections to survive. This form of diabetes usually develops in children or young adults, but can occur at any age.
2. Type 2 diabetes results when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin and/or is unable to use insulin properly (insulin resistance). This form of diabetes usually occurs in people who are over 40, overweight, and have a family history of diabetes, although today it is increasingly occurring in younger people, particularly adolescents.
3. Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy and usually resolves after the baby is born. Between 4 to 11%, depending on demographic area, of pregnant women will develop gestational diabetes. The majority develop gestational diabetes around the 24th to 28th week of pregnancy. It is at this time that special blood tests (Oral Glucose Tolerance Test) are carried out, except for those women at high risk who may be tested earlier.