A disorder that develops due to the body's cells not receiving enough insulin. The pancreas usually produces this hormone, which usually enables the body to take in glucose from the blood in order to generate energy.
Insulin dependent, this type of diabetes has a sudden onset, in childhood or adolescence. It is an auto-immune disorder, where the immune system destroys it's own insulin-secreting cells.
Non-insulin dependent, this type of diabetes has a gradual onset. It mainly affects those over 40, although over the years it is starting to be more common in younger people. It can be hereditary, although it has very close links to dietary and lifestyle choices. A predisposition may be necessary, but with the right lifestyle habits, onset can be avoided.
More than 2 million people in the
Large quantities of glucose in the urine leads to excessive urination , thirst, and urinary tract infections. Weight loss, hunger and fatigue can occur due to the lack of glucose in the cells, and this leads to chemical imbalances.
In type 1 diabetes, the onset of symptoms is rapid and must be treated immediately, otherwise it could lead to potential fatality. With type 2 diabetes, however, the symptoms may take months or years to develop, but may be detected through other complications, such as loss of sensation in the body, vision loss due to retinal damage, ulcers on the legs and feet, dizziness when standing, and erectile dysfunction in men.