Diabetes: A Beginner’s Guide

 - December 8, 2006, 6:19 AM

Diabetes is a chronic condition in which patients have too much glucose in their blood. Patients will suffer dangerously high blood-sugar levels because their bodies cannot make enough of the hormone insulin.

Patients with Type 1 diabetes (also known as early onset diabetes) can produce little or no insulin. This condition usually develops before the age of 40, and often much younger. It can be treated only by injecting insulin to control blood-sugar levels.

Patients with Type 2 diabetes do not make enough insulin, or their bodies cannot adequately use the available insulin. This condition is often brought on by obesity and can be treated with a carefully managed diet and weight-loss program.

Common early symptoms of diabetes include thirst, fatigue, abnormally frequent urination, urinary tract infections, blurred vision, weight loss and muscle fatigue.