Diabetes at a glance
What is diabetes?
It is a condition where the pancreas is no longer able to produce enough insulin. The body needs insulin to transport glucose (sugar in the blood) and to absorb it in the cells that need it.
Insulin is made in the pancreas. This is behind the stomach. The moment this organ does not work optimally, there is a shortage of insulin in the body. This in turn leads to a surplus of glucose in the body. Prolonged increase in glucose in the body can have serious consequences. Cardiovascular diseases, eye damage, and kidney complications are the greatest risks.
Types of diabetes
There are two types of diabetes. The first type is a hereditary variant, which usually starts at a young age. We call this species type 1 diabetes and can start immediately. About 1 in 10 people with diabetes have type 1. The second type is type 2 diabetes. This type of diabetes only manifests itself at a later age, usually after the age of 40. Also with this type it is often a matter of genetic predisposition, but lifestyle certainly plays a role. People who struggle with their weight or do not exercise enough are at greater risk of developing diabetes.
Living with diabetes is a complicated task. Because everyone has a different syndrome. For many people, medication is a daily reality, especially for those who suffer from type 1. For others, the condition can be regulated by adjusting their diet.
Whichever way fits with living with diabetes, whatever type you have, accurately measuring your blood sugar level helps. Measuring is knowing, and knowing how much glucose is in your blood makes it easier for you to adjust your medication or diet accordingly.
Another way to better deal with type 2 diabetes is to exercise more. Many diabetics already notice a world of difference by walking for half an hour every day. For others, an hour of cycling a few times a week can make a big difference.
Living with diabetes is no fun. But there are many things you can do to make it a lot more bearable!