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Home / Diabetes / Diabetes FAQs

Diabetes FAQs

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition that occurs when the levels of blood sugar in your body are higher than they should be. This is related to insulin production, either because you cannot produce the hormone at all or because your body can not respond properly to the insulin that your body does produce.

Is there a cure for diabetes?

Unfortunately, there no cure currently available for either type of diabetes, but there are a number of treatments available to help manage the condition.

Will I have to inject insulin?

Insulin treatment is required for people who have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, but this does not necessarily have to be in the form of injections. You should discuss this with your doctor.

How will I know if I have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes?

This will be something that your doctor will be able to tell you. The difference between the two types is mainly related to how your body responds or produces insulin. In Type 1 diabetes sufferers, insulin is not produced at all, while in Type 2 sufferers insulin may be produced in insufficient amounts or the body may not be able to properly respond to the hormone that is produced. The distinction is important as it affects what form of treatment you will need to undergo.

What treatments are there for diabetes?

Your course of treatment will depend on whether you have been diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. For Type 1 diabetes, treatment usually involves a form of insulin therapy, for example insulin injections. Type 2 diabetes can often be controlled by simple lifestyle changes relating to diet and exercise, but in some cases medications like metformin are also required. You should discuss your treatment options with your doctor before reaching any decisions.

Are there any symptoms of this condition?

Yes, diabetes symptoms can often manifest as fatigue, genital itching, weight loss, increased thirst and an increased need to urinate.

What is the cause of diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body cannot produce insulin, though the cause of this problem is not fully understood. Type 2 diabetes is associated with a range of factors, including obesity, age, genetics and lifestyles of a sedentary nature.

Is diabetes dangerous?

Like most chronic diseases, if left untreated diabetes can be very dangerous. It's best to consult your doctor and undergo a simply blood test to ensure you're not a diabetic. Millions of people suffer from diabetes without actually knowing they have the condition.

How often should I check my blood sugar level?

Recommendations on this question vary from one individual to another, as it depends on factors such as the treatment plan being followed and the type of diabetes. You will be advised on how often blood sugar checks are necessary by your doctor.

Is this a common condition?

Yes, diabetes is considered to be a fairly common condition in the UK, with almost three million individuals diagnosed. Estimates suggest that as many as a million people could have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes.

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