World Diabetes Day
Tuesday November 14th is World Diabetes Day. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) defines diabetes as follows:
“Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas is no longer able to make insulin, or when the body cannot make good use of the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas, that acts like a key to let glucose from the food we eat pass from the blood stream into the cells in the body to produce energy. All carbohydrate foods are broken down into glucose in the blood. Insulin helps glucose get into the cells.
Not being able to produce insulin or use it effectively leads to raised glucose levels in the blood (known as hyperglycaemia). Over the long-term high glucose levels are associated with damage to the body and failure of various organs and tissues.”
Note the mention of the word “glucose” five times and the acknowledgment that all carbohydrate foods are broken down into glucose.
The different types
The IDF definition describes the two types of diabetes – type 1 diabetes is the type where the body is no longer able to make insulin and type 2 diabetes is the type where the body cannot make good use of the insulin it produces.
We used to call type 1 diabetes (T1D) “juvenile diabetes”, as it only used to occur in young people. The typical age of onset was during teenage years – some children developed type 1 younger and a few in their early 20s, but it was largely a teenage condition. If you hadn’t developed T1D by the time of your 21st birthday, you were highly unlikely to do so.
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) used to b Continue reading