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Diabetes is a condition in which the blood glucose (sugar) levels of a person remain persistently higher than normal.

No... Diabetes is not directly caused by eating too much sweet food.

Instead, when we eat, food is broken down into glucose and is absorbed into the blood. A hormone produced by the pancreas called Insulin, helps move the glucose from the blood into the cells, giving us energy. Insulin helps us to maintain a normal blood sugar level range.

People with diabetes cannot fully use the glucose in their blood due to:

• lack of, or no insulin in the body
• insulin produced is ineffective

Since glucose is not able to move into the cells and builds up in the blood, it results in high blood sugar levels - hyperglycaemia (hyper), which can lead to serious health problems.

If blood sugar level is not maintained well, it may also drop too low resulting in hypoglycaemia (hypo). Thus the key is maintaining a balance! Monitoring of blood sugars is done through a blood glucose meter requiring a small blood sample obtained through a finger prick.

Remember! Diabetes is a manageable condition. It cannot be cured but it can be controlled and managed to prevent the development of complications.

Type 2 diabetes can be managed by diet and exercise with or without medication.

Insulin therapy is critical in the management of patients with Type 1 Diabetes.

The goal of management is to keep blood sugars as close as possible within a target range.

Target of blood glucose (sugar) levels