What is diabetes?

Diabetes, or diabetes mellitus as doctors often refer to it, is diagnosed when the body cannot convert glucose (sugar) from food into energy.

25 January 2016

This chronic condition is caused by defects in the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin.

According to statistics released by the World Health Organisation in 2014, 347 million people worldwide have diabetes. According to a recent World Health Organization (WHO) report, a staggering 380 million people worldwide will have diabetes by 2025. The International Diabetes Federation predicts that by 2030, over 20 million Africans will be living with diabetes.

There are two main types of diabetes known as type 1 and type 2 which are discussed in the next two chapters. Type 1 occurs when the pancreas stops producing insulin. It usually starts in young people under the age of 30 and is often hereditary.

Type 2 is caused when there is either insufficient insulin or it does not work properly. About 85 to 90 percent of all people with this chronic condition are Type 2, and many people who have this condition go undiagnosed.

See here for comprehensive information on type 1 diabetes and here for comprehensive information on type 2 diabetes. 

Other types of diabetes include:

  • Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA): Here the pancreas stops producing insulin as in type 1, but whereas type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed in children and teenagers, those with LADA start presenting symptoms well into adulthood.
  • Gestational diabetes: It occurs during pregnancy, due to the presence of the placenta, which releases hormones that help with the baby’s growth but, in some cases, these hormones also reduce the mother’s ability to use insulin, making her body insulin-resistant (a reaction similar to that of type 2).  

For more info and assistance

  • Clicks Clinics will help you prevent, identify and manage diabetes with their wide range of screening tests and health assessments.To make an appointment at a Clicks Clinic, call 0860 254 257 or visit Clicks Clinics online
Read More: Diabetes Super Section