What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a long-term medical condition in which the blood glucose levels of a person remain higher than normal most of the time. It occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when insulin does not work properly. Insulin is a hormone that reduces the blood glucose levels.

There are different types of diabetes: Type 1 and type 2, gestational, as well as “pre-diabetes”.

Type 1 diabetes happens when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin. It is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, although it can occur at any age.

Type 2 diabetes is usually found in people who are aged 40 and above, who may be overweight or physically inactive. However, it is increasingly found in younger people due to our lifestyle and eating habits. Mild conditions may be controlled by dieting and lifestyle adjustments. More serious conditions may require medication or insulin injections.

Gestational diabetes occurs in women who are pregnant, when blood glucose levels may be high.

“Pre-diabetes” is when a person’s blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Diet, exercise and lifestyle modifications help in bringing their blood glucose levels under control.

(Copyright® HST Medical Pte Ltd)

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