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DIABETES

What is Diabetes? A condition where blood sugar levels are too high. It is important for our body to regulate our sugar levels. This is achieved with a hormone called insulin. In diabetes, our body is either unable to make insulin or cannot use insulin effectively. There are estimated to be over 415 million diabetics in the world.

Symptoms Initially, symptoms may include feeling very thirsty, urinating more often and feeling tired more often. After a period of time, diabetes can damage your eyes, feet, heart and kidneys.

Risk factors include being overweight, poor diet, smoking, low amounts of exercise, high blood pressure, older age and family history.

Prevention includes regular exercise, good balanced diet and avoiding smoking.

Diabetic retinopathy
Diabetes can affect the blood vessels in the back of the eye. This can lead to sight loss. Usually this will take years to take effect. This is one of the reasons to have regular sight checks. If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes it is important to attend your annual eye screening. This is because diabetic retinopathy does not usually produce symptoms in its early stages. Early detection can help to manage future complications.

Diabetes also increases the chances of developing glaucoma and cataract. Please see our pages on these conditions for more information.

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