Diabetes is a common condition in which the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood is too high. Glucose comes from the digestion of starchy or sugary food and is normally controlled by insulin, a hormone produced by your pancreas.
If Insulin is missing or is not being used by your body effectively, glucose absorbed from food cannot be used as an energy source. Its concentration then increases in your blood.
There are 200 million people with diabetes worldwide and it has been estimated that this will reach 300 million by the year 2025.
In the UK there are more than 2 million people with diabetes, with many who do not even know they have the disease.
The cause of diabetes is complex and is not yet completely known.
Diabetes can occur as a consequence of inherited & environmental factors (viruses, toxins, diet) which often, when acting together, cause an insulin deficit. As well as your body not producing enough insulin,in many cases, especially in overweight people, the cells in your body can become resistant to the action of insulin.
In the case of children and teenagers with a predisposition to diabetes, certain viruses or alterations of the immune system can trigger the disease.
There are some other causes of diabetes but they are all very rare; these include certain diseases of the pancreas.
All information contained on this page has been approved by a Consultant Diabetologist.
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