Understanding Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the more common long term illnesses people suffer with in the UK.

Nearly 2.8 million suffer from diabetes and there are many more out there with diabetes that are not yet diagnosed.  It is estimated that approximately 1 million people in the UK have the condition but are unaware of it.

How does diabetes occur?

Normally, a hormone called insulin produced by the pancreas, a gland located behind the stomach is needed to move any glucose (type of sugar) out of the blood and into cells, where it is broken down to produce energy.  This occurs when we eat and food is digested and enters the bloodstream.

In people with diabetes, the body is unable to break down glucose into energy. This is because there is either not enough insulin to move the glucose, or because the insulin that is there does not work properly.

There are two types of diabetes:

type 1 diabetes which occurs when the body does not produce any insulin at all

type 2 diabetes which occurs when not enough insulin is produced by the body for it to function properly, or when the body’s cells do not react to insulin. This is called insulin resistance. Type 2 diabetes is far more common with around 90% of all adults in the UK suffering from this form of diabetes.

If you have type 2 diabetes, you may be able to control your symptoms simply by eating a healthy diet and monitoring your blood glucose level.  However, as type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition, you may eventually need to take insulin medication, usually in the form of tablets.

Type 2 diabetes is often associated with obesity. Obesity-related diabetes is sometimes referred to as maturity-onset diabetes because it is more common in older people.

So what are the symptoms?

  • Thirsty all the time
  • Passing too much urine
  • Tiredness
  • Recurrent infections

Prevention and early detection is the way forward…

Checking your blood sugar can be done using a simple and painless blood test. Your local HBS Pharmacy can help you with this.  Our fully trained staff members will provide a private consultation and explain the test and the results.  It takes around 15 minutes and the pharmacist will inform you as to the right kind of help and how to improve your health.

If needed they will refer you to your doctor or provide ways in which you can help yourself and monitor any potential health risk.

Useful website links:


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