This week is Diabetes Awareness Week.
Diabetes is a group of medical conditions which effects your body’s blood glucose levels and can affect anyone at any age.
There are two main types of Diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2 and both have different causes and effects.
The main thing to remember is that both are as serious as each other. Having high blood glucose (or sugar) levels can lead to serious health complications, no matter whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. So if you have either condition, you need to take the right steps to manage it.
Wolfe Tones G4MO player Alex Millar is a long-term advocate for people with diabetes and previously ran summer camps for teenagers in the Mournes who had the condition. She says “Diabetes is a serious medical condition which needs proper monitoring and treatment. Although it shouldn’t be a barrier to physical activity and many top sports stars have the condition.”
“You should pay close attention to the four T’s and if you notice changes contact your doctor as soon as possible”
Needing to visit the toilet more often than usual, going during the night when you usually don’t or having very short breaks between going to the toilet are all part of one of the main symptoms of type 1 diabetes.
If a child starts to regularly wet the bed, having not wet the bed for some time, it could also indicate a sign of diabetes.
We all get thirsty from time but thirst can be a symptom of type 1 diabetes. Some signs of unusual thirst may include:
- Regularly getting up to drink during the night
- Drinking a full glass or bottle of liquid and still being very thirsty
- Having only gaps between bouts of thirst
When the body lacks insulin, as happens in type 1 diabetes, cells of the body cannot take in glucose from the blood for energy which can leave the body tired and unnourished.
Tiredness in type 1 diabetes may be spotted if someone who is usually active starts finding physical activity particularly difficult to carry out.
A lack of insulin means the body cannot get enough glucose from the blood into cells and so the body starts to break down fat and muscle into ketones to use as an alternative source of energy.
A symptom of type 1 diabetes is therefore exaggerated and/or unexplained loss of body weight.