Your body takes carbohydrates in food and converts them to glucose (sugar) to be used for energy or fuel. If you have diabetes the level of sugar in your blood is too high. This is because your body cannot use it properly and it builds up in your blood.
What are the signs of diabetes?
Symptoms of diabetes include:
- Passing urine more often than usual, especially at night.
- Being more thirsty.
- Being extremely tired.
- Losing weight with no reason why.
- Blurry vision.
What causes diabetes? You are more likely to have diabetes if you:
- Have severe mental health problems.
- Are overweight.
- Have high blood pressure.
- Have previously had a heart attack or stroke.
- Are taking antipsychotic medication.
How can I reduce my chance of getting diabetes?
Some of the risk factors for diabetes are not in your control. However you can try to:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Keep a healthy blood pressure.
Should I get a test for diabetes?
If you have a physical health check your GP or nurse should check your blood sugar levels.
Take a look at pages 9-11 of the Good health guide so you can see how you can get a physical health check.
If you are not due a physical health check but are showing the signs of possible diabetes, then you could book an appointment with your GP surgery to have a diabetes check.
How is diabetes treated?
Diabetes cannot be cured but can be managed very well. This usually involves lifestyle changes. This can include eating well, keeping active, managing your weight, giving up smoking and keeping an eye on your alcohol intake. Some people may need medication to control diabetes.
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