What is Diabetes?


Diabetes mellitus is a condition of high blood sugar levels. There are a number of causes for this but the majority of cases are due to Type 2 diabetes.


About 10% is due to Type 1 diabetes and the remainder due to other causes such as medications, damage to the pancreas gland and rarely genetic conditions.


Type 2 diabetes tends to occur in older people and is associated with excessive weight. Type 1 diabetes although it can occur at any age usually tends to occur in younger people in whom weight is usually normal. Type 1 diabetes usually presents with people feeling unwell (thirsty, passing more water than usual, weight loss).


There may not be any symptoms beginning with Type 2 diabetes. As a result Type 2 diabetes can go undetected for a number of years before it is diagnosed and on average it has been present for 6 years before it is diagnosed. Diagnosis is on the basis of blood tests.

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