Biology revision (diabetes)

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types of diabetes

 Diabetes develops when glucose can’t enter the body’s cells to be used as fuel. This happens when either:

  • There is no insulin to unlock the cells (Type 1)
  • There is not enough insulin or the insulin is there but not working properly 
    (Type 2).
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what is diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose in your blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly. This is because your pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin, or not enough insulin, to help glucose enter your body’s cells – or the insulin that is produced does not work properly (known as insulin resistance).

  • Insulin is the hormone produced by the pancreas that allows glucose to enter the body’s cells, where it is used as fuel for energy so we can work, play and generally live our lives. It is vital for life.
  • Glucose comes from digesting carbohydrate and is also produced by the liver. 
  • If you have diabetes, your body cannot make proper use of this glucose so it builds up in the blood and can’t be used as fuel.
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how is diabetes treated?

Diabetes medication lowers blood glucose levels, and there are a number of different types which work in different ways. Diabetes medication is not the same as insulin (though some people with Type 2 diabetes do take insulin). Diabetes medication cannot cure diabetes, and most people will have to take it for the rest of their lives.

The type of medication you require will depend on your own individual needs and situation, so you should discuss with your healthcare team about the types of medication available and the most suitable options for you. Whichever medication you are prescribed, it will only work and help control your diabetes if you take it properly and regularly. Make sure that your doctor or pharmacist explains how much medication to take and when to take it.

You may find that, despite keeping to a healthy diet, physical activity and taking your diabetes medication regularly, your diabetes control is not as good as it was. This is because Type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition and, over time, you may need more help to manage your blood glucose levels.

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