What is Diabetes?
Diabetes happens because the body can't use glucose (sugar) properly. Glucose comes from eating foods such as bread, rice, potatoes, sugar and sweet foods. This means people with diabetes must look after their general health carefully because it is a life-long condition.
Diabetes can be kept under control with some lifestyle changes and advice from your doctor to help improve overall health. This means people living with diabetes can have a normal active life like everyone else. See the video title 'I Can: Diabetes doesn't stop me'.
What are the two types of Diabetes?
There are two types of Diabetes people can have:
Type 1 Diabetes - develops if your body can't produce any insulin (insulin is a hormone that helps glucose to be used as 'fuel' by your body). People with type 1 diabetes require regular insulin injections to correct the lack of natural insulin. Type 1 diabetes usually affects young people, often in childhood, and is the least common of the two forms of diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes - develops if your body can still make some insulin, but not enough; or because the cells in your body are not using the insulin properly. This is called 'insulin resistance'. The number of young people with type 2 diabetes has increased in the UK, and it is much more common in people who are overweight or obese.
What are the myths about Diabetes?
- You can catch Diabetes from someone else! - You can't, it's not a condition that is contagious.
- Eating too much sugar causes Diabetes! - It doesn't, a diet high in fat and sugar can cause you to become overweight and this increases your risk of developing Diabetes.
- People with Diabetes can't have any sugar! - Having Diabetes doesn't mean you have to have a sugar-free diet. People with Diabetes should have a healthy balanced diet which can include small amounts of sugar.
Here is a case study of Matt, aged 14, from Ipswich who challenged himself to make some small but very valuable lifestyle choices and proved that he could do it! Matt's story.
For more information visit the One Life Suffolk website which helps people of Suffolk to lead more healthier lives.
Where can I get advice and support?
- Visit your GP for any health concerns.
- Speak to a school nurse through the ChatHealth Service for confidential health advice. For information go to our ChatHealth page