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What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is defined as a metabolic disorder in which your body cannot correctly store and use glucose for energy. To use glucose, your body needs insulin. Insulin is the hormone made by a gland in your body called the pancreas. Insulin regulates blood glucose by stimulating the removal of glucose from the blood and its uptake into muscle, liver and fat cells where it can be stored for energy.

Sometimes your body does not make enough insulin or the insulin does not work the way it should. Glucose then stays in your blood and does not reach your cells. Your blood glucose levels get too high (hyperglycemia) and can cause diabetes. In general, people with diabetes either have a total lack of insulin (type 1 diabetes), or cannot use insulin effectively (type 2 diabetes).

Type 1 diabetes; accounts for around 8 out of every 100 people who have diabetes. The body's immune system destroys the cells that release insulin, eventually eliminating insulin production from the entire body. Without insulin, cells cannot absorb glucose (sugar), which they need to produce energy.

Type 2 diabetes; accounts for roughly 92 out of every 100 people who have diabetes. It can develop at any age, most commonly surfacing during adulthood, but type 2 diabetes is currently rising in children. A type 2 diabetes body isn't able to use insulin the right way: insulin resistance. As type 2 diabetes gets worse, the pancreas may make less and less insulin: insulin deficiency.

Differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes:

 

Type 1 diabetes Type 2 diabetes
Beta cells in pancreas are being attacked by body's own cells and therefore cannot produce insulin to take sugar out of the blood stream. Insulin is not produced.

 

Diet related insulin release is so large and frequent that receptor cells have become less sensitive to the insulin. This insulin resistance results in less sugar being removed from the blood.
Episodes of low and high blood sugar level (hypoglycemia) are common. There are no episodes of low blood sugar level, unless the person is taking insulin or certain diabetes medicines.
It cannot be prevented. It can be prevented or delayed with a healthy lifestyle, including maintaining a healthy weight, eating sensibly, and exercising regularly.

 

If an emergency situation is developing involving a diabetic who is suffering convulsions and/or is unconscious, it’s important the people around them know that they have diabetes. Wearing a Tap2Tag medical alert wristband will help first responders, including paramedics, recognise your condition and treat you immediately. We suggest detailing procedures for using a glucagon kit or insulin epipen, and where to find them on your person, in the message section of your profile. This will enable any first responders to assist you without fear of using equipment incorrectly.

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