What’s the difference between type 1 / type 2 diabetes? Diabetes is the condition in which the body cannot make any or enough of the hormone, insulin. Insulin is used to move glucose into your muscles and cells. This causes the glucose in your blood to be too high, which can cause long term damage to tissue and nerves.
Type 1 diabetes is not caused by poor diet or lifestyle, but is an auto-immune disease in which body destroys cells in the pancreas which secrete insulin. A person with Type 1 diabetes must therefore inject insulin into their body, every day for the rest of their lives.
Type 2 diabetes is a preventable disease, often caused by being overweight or inactive. The body becomes resistant to the insulin the pancreas produces, causing the glucose (sugar) in the blood to be too high.
How common is diabetes in the UAE?
According to the International Diabetes Federation, in 2017, 17.3% of the UAE population has Type 2 diabetes. This equates to over 1 million people, with this number expected to rise to 2.2 million by 2040. The prevalence of Type 2 diabetes within the UAE is rising faster than anywhere else in the world.
How is diabetes diagnosed?
Type 2 diabetes can be discovered by a high level of glucose in the blood or urine. Further blood tests can confirm the diagnosis. Symptoms can include:
- Increased urination, especially at night
- Feeling thirsty all the time
- Feeling more tired than usual
- Blurry vision
- Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consult your doctor for further investigations.
What does uncontrolled diabetes do?
If diabetes goes undiscovered or untreated, the level of glucose in the blood will run high. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to a range of other issues and diseases such as:
- Heart disease and stroke
- Nerve damage in the extremities such as feet
- Non-healing sores and infections, which could lead to amputation
- Vision loss and blindness
- Kidney problems
How can diabetes be treated?
Type 2 diabetes can be controlled and treated by improving your diet and lifestyle. This means reducing simple sugars, processed foods and foods high in saturated fat, increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, and increasing your physical activity. If you are overweight, just a 5% reduction in weight can help to stabilise diabetes. Medication, such as Metformin and Gliclazide, can be used to reduce and control blood glucose levels, and is prescribed by a doctor.
Need help losing weight and controlling your diabetes? Book an appointment with Holly, Clinical Dietitian, today.