The highest prevalence of diabetes is found in Indian and African ethnic groups and even more concerning is the amount of young children that are being affected even at a very young age. Known as ‘sugar’ disease in the African community where many of the long term complications like amputations, loss of vision are well known. Diabetes is a disease which prevents the body from using sugar (glucose) in the blood stream normally.
The body’s supply of sugar comes from our food; carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Our bodies convert all our foods down to glucose which it uses for energy. Normally the glucose in the blood (the blood sugar) keeps within a constant level. This is vital for optimum bodily functioning. But in the diabetic it rises above normal. This happens because the diabetic either lacks insulin and/or becomes insulin resistant. Insulin is produced by the pancreas, a gland located behind the stomach.
There are two categories of diabetes. Insulin dependent and non-insulin depend. Insulin Dependent sometimes called Juvenile onset Diabetes/Type 1 Diabetes, as it generally is diagnosed in young children, although some adults also might fall into this category. Non-insulin dependent diabetes/Type 2 Diabetes is much more prevalent being diagnosed from teenage years upward. This chart shows the differences.