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What is Diabetes?

Diabetes, is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas is no longer able to make insulin, or when the body cannot make good use of the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas, that acts like a key to let glucose from the food we eat pass from the blood stream into the cells in the body to produce energy. All carbohydrate foods are broken down into glucose in the blood. Insulin helps glucose get into the cells.

Not being able to produce insulin or use it effectively leads to raised glucose levels in the blood (known as hyperglycaemia). Over the long-term high glucose levels are associated with damage to the body and failure of various organs and tissues.

Clicks Clinics provide a range of diabetes services to help you stay healthy:

  • Glucose screening and monitoring
  • Blood Pressure & Body Mass Index screening
  • Foot Screening to check for foot problems
  • Collection of blood samples for HbA1C tests

Call 0860-254-257 to make a booking at your nearest Clicks Clinic or click here.

Symptoms of Diabetes

  • Unusual thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Extreme fatigue or lack of energy
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent or recurring infections
  • Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal
  • Boils and itching skin
  • Tingling and numbness in the hands or feet

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There are three main types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes

Occurs when the pancreas stops producing insulin. It usually starts in young people under the age of 30, including very young children and infants, and the onset is sudden and dramatic. People who have type 1 diabetes must inject insulin to survive. Insulin dosages are carefully balanced with food intake and exercise programmes.

Type 2 diabetes

Is caused when the insulin, which the pancreas produces, is either not enough or does not work properly. Approximately 85% – 90% of all people with diabetes are type 2, and many people who have this condition are undiagnosed.

Most type 2s are over 40. They are usually overweight and do not exercise. Type 2 diabetes may be treated successfully without medication. Often loss of weight alone will reduce glucose levels. Eating patterns and exercise play important roles in management. Tablets may be prescribed to help improve control, however, many type 2s will eventually use insulin.

Gestational diabetes:

Is a temporary condition that occurs during pregnancy. Both mother and child have an increased risk of developing diabetes in the future.

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Prevention of Diabetes

At present, type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented. The environmental triggers that are thought to generate the process that results in the destruction of the body’s insulin-producing cells are still under investigation.


  • There is a lot of evidence that lifestyle changes (achieving a healthy body weight and moderate physical activity) can help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.
  • Obesity, particularly abdominal obesity, is linked to the development of type 2 diabetes. Weight loss improves insulin resistance and reduces hypertension. People who are overweight or obese should therefore be encouraged to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. Download our FREE Diabetes meal plan.
  • A balanced and nutritious diet is essential for health.


  • Smoking: a well-established risk factor for many chronic diseases, including diabetes and its complications. As well as other harmful effects,
    smoking increases abdominal fat accumulation and insulin resistance.
  • Stress and depression: There is evidence of a link between depression and both diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • Sleeping patterns: Both short (<6h) and long (>9h) sleep durations may be associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Management of Diabetes


What, when and how much you eat play an important role in regulating how well your body manages blood glucose levels. It’s a good idea to visit a registered dietician who will help you work out a meal plan, which is suitable to your particular lifestyle and needs, or download our FREE Diabetes meal plan.


Regular exercise helps your body lower blood glucose, promotes weight loss, reduces stress and enhances overall fitness and enjoyment of life.


Some people who have type 2 diabetes can manage their blood sugar with diet and exercise alone, but many need diabetes medications or insulin therapy. The decision about which medications are best depends on many factors, including your blood sugar level and any other health problems you have.


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Regular Blood Sugar Monitoring

Depending on your individual treatment plan, you may need to check your blood sugar once a day or several times a week. Regular monitoring is critical to ensuring that you keep your blood sugar within the target range.

*Clicks EasyMax
*Clicks Diabetic Multivitamin 30 Capsules
Self-monitoring Blood Glucose
System and 50 Blood Glucose
Test Strips

Products marked with * are only available in selected stores








(Original article appeared on the Clicks website.)

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