Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the body doesn’t produce any or enough insulin, leading to an excess of sugar in the blood.Diabetes prevalence has been rising more rapidly in middle- and low-income countries. Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation.

In 2015, an estimated 1.6 million deaths in Kenya were directly caused by diabetes. Another 2.2 million deaths were attributable to high blood glucose.Today, one in every 17 Kenyans has diabetes, and 12,890 people in the country have died from both diabetes and high blood glucose. WHO http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs312/en/ projects that diabetes will be the seventh leading cause of death in 2030.

Glucose, the form of sugar found in your blood, is one of your chief energy sources. Lack of insulin or resistance to insulin causes sugar to build up in your blood. This can lead to many health problems.

Let us learn more about the different types of diabetes.

  1. Type 1 Diabete

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults.  Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease.

In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. The body breaks down the sugars and starches you eat into a simple sugar called glucose, which it uses for energy. Insulin is a hormone that the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives.

      2. Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes starts as an insulin resistance. This means that your body can’t use insulin efficiently. That stimulates your pancreas to produce more insulin until it can no longer keep up with demand. Insulin production decreases, which leads to high blood sugar.

The exact cause is unknown. Contributing factors may include genetics, lack of exercise, and being overweight. There may also be other health factors and environmental reasons

     3. Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is due to insulin blocking hormones produced during pregnancy. This type of diabetes only occurs during pregnancy. There is a high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life if you had Gestational Diabetes in your pregnancy. According to the IDF, aapproximately half of women with a history of GDM go on to develop type 2 diabetes within five to ten years after delivery.

There are a number of risk factors that increase the chances of developing this condition:

  • Family history of gestational diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Have had a large baby weighing over 9lb

Stay informed. Visit any of our Goodlife outlets for a free Blood sugar test.