Diabetes is a chronic disease, which occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. This leads to an increased concentration of glucose in the blood (hyperglycaemia).

Type 1 diabetes (previously known as insulin-dependent or childhood-onset diabetes) is characterized by a lack of insulin production.

Type 2 diabetes (formerly called non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes) is caused by the body’s ineffective use of insulin. It often results from excess body weight and physical inactivity.

Gestational diabetes is hyperglycaemia that is first recognized during pregnancy.

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  • Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects around 3 million people in the UK
  • 85-90% have type 2
  • 20,000 with type 1 diabetes under the age of 15 years

Type 1 Diabetes

  • Body’s immune system attacks the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas
  • Body no longer produces insulin
  • Insulin injections required for rebalance
  • Natural animal insulin or synthetic human analogue insulin
  • No cure and cause have been established, theories why type 1 happens include genetic link or common virus may trigger the body’s immune system to attack its own insulin producing pancreatic cells
  • Stress factor
  • Use techniques to increase relaxation of the pituitary
  • Starvation in the midst of plenty
  • When carbohydrates are eaten, no insulin is produced and so the glucose levels in the blood rise higher and higher, causing excess glucose to be passed into the urine. This leads to frequent urination
  • Diabetic patient becomes very thirsty due to thirst and peeing a lot
  • Loss of body energy and tiredness due to glucose being excreted
  • Body burns own fats to give energy which leads to weight loss
  • Treatment with insulin essential
  • Over 2 million people have type 2 and an equal amount undiagnosed
  • Occurs mainly in people over 40
  • Pancreas still produces some insulin but either not enough or it is not used properly by the various organs in the body (so there can be too much insulin in the system)
  • Positive response to diet and exercise and oral blood glucose lowering drugs
  • On average people with type 2 start to need insulin 7 years after diagnosis
  • Can remain undiagnosed for several years during which time the blood glucose levels are too high causing viscous blood and damage to vessels leading to vascular complications of diabetes
  • Often diagnosed as a result of having complications
  • Runs in families but sedentary lifestyle and being overweight are also causes
  • Either insulin producing cells in the pancreas do not produce enough insulin or the insulin produced is not used properly(insulin resistance)
  • Blood glucose levels can gradually rise over several years and the symptoms associated with diabetes can creep on gradually

Type 2 Diabetes

Pick it up early and take action.


Between 4-7 mmols/l

Debate about the range is huge.Is this a correct value? Most of the older diabetics like their reading between 7-10 ,especially at night before bed to avoid their levels going too low when they are asleep. If they have a low reading before bedtime some increase their levels with a cracker with jam on,to achieve 10mmols/l.  There are global differences about the range as well.

It’s interesting hedgehogs have to be 600g in weight before they can hibernate otherwise they will not survive the winter.

Complications of uncontrolled blood glucose



Increased sugar levels in the blood cause it to become more viscous or thicker and it does not flow as quickly as a balanced system would like. This can affect the blood vessels at the back of the eye (retinopathy) which can lead to visual impairment or blindness.

Heart and vascular system

Diabetics are more prone to heart disease, stroke and blood clots.


Diabetics are prone to kidney failure(nephropathy) Improve kidney function with natural enzymes found in sesame seeds and apricots.


High sugar levels in cellular tissues are a good breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. So take good care of feet, fingers and extremities. Observe any changes and take swift action to the doctors if any changes occur.


Diabetes often causes nerve damage, causing problems with nerve transmission. This can lead to pain or loss of sensation in the feet and ulceration of the legs.

Basically it is not good so early intervention essential with diet, drugs and exercise.