Diabetes occurs when there’s too much glucose in your blood. This happens when your body cannot produce enough insulin, or use it properly.
Glucose is the main source of energy for our bodies.
To ensure our bodies are working properly, we need to maintain healthy levels of glucose in our blood.
When we eat foods containing carbohydrate such as bread, pasta, rice, cereals, fruits, starchy vegetables, milk and yoghurt, they are broken down to glucose, which moves into our blood supply.
This is where ‘blood glucose’ or ‘blood sugar’ comes from. Glucose is also stored and released in your body by the liver.
The level of glucose in the blood is normally controlled by a hormone called insulin which is made by special cells in the pancreas, called beta cells.
Insulin acts as a key to unlock cells in the body and allow glucose to enter. Only then can it be used as a source of energy for our bodies.
Diabetes develops when glucose cannot enter the body’s cells, preventing it from being used for energy.
This is why blood glucose levels are higher in people with diabetes. High blood glucose can cause short and long term damage to the body.
Complications can impact many areas of the body including heart, brain, kidneys, eyes and feet.
Note: Diabetes refers to Diabetes Mellitus.