Help prevent diabetes

About Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic lifelong illness, which occurs when the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood is too high the body cannot use it properly.
Diabetes occurs when beta cells, responsible for producing insulin in the pancreas, do not function properly; they either fails to produce insulin, don’t produce enough insulin or the insulin produced does not work as it should; this leads to diabetes can lead to further complications associated with the illness. Insulin is a hormone which controls blood glucose levels allowing glucose to enter the cells to give us energy. Insulin is vital for life.

Signs symptoms

The signs symptoms of diabetes can be attributed to other things, such as ageing or a stressful lifestyle, so it is important to be observant regarding changes to your health.
If you have a family history of diabetes, or you have any combination of the following symptoms, you should make an appointment get tested.

  • Increased urination
  • Increased thirst​
  • Slow healing wounds
  • General weakness tiredness
  • Blurred vision
  • Weight loss
  • Dry/itchy skin
  • Recurrent inflammation or abscesses
  • Genital itching or thrush

Type 1 Diabetes

What is type 1 diabetes?
An individual can be affected type 1 diabetes at any age. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body suddenly stops producing the insulin hormone which would normally control glucose (sugar) levels in the blood. If you have type 1 diabetes you are categorized as insulin dependent. Type 1 diabetes is far less common than type 2 diabetes in adults. The symptoms usually occur more rapidly are more noticeable than type 2 diabetes.

What causes type 1 diabetes?

The cause of type 1 of diabetes is still relatively unknown; however, it is believed that type 1 diabetes presents because the body’s defences attack insulin producing (beta) cells, which stop producing insulin, resulting in high blood glucose levels the signs symptoms of diabetes.

Preventing type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented but it can be controlled.

How is type 1 diabetes treated?

Treatment of type 1 diabetes requires a multidisciplinary team approach. Your diabetes team will discuss your condition with you, prescribe medication provide education on living your life with diabetes. Treatment includes:

  • Insulin – regular injections are needed to provide the body with insulin
  • Patient education – informing patients how to make healthy choices around their diet, controlling their weight, activity levels stopping smoking
  • Regular blood glucose monitoring
  • Regular check-ups with your doctor for the detection, prevention treatment of complications

It is important to recognize that type 1 diabetes has no known cure but it can be managed. Your diabetes team is here to support you so ask questions seek help if you are at all worried.

Type 1 treatment diagram:

Type 2 Diabetes

What is type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body fails to produce enough insulin or when cells in the body do not respond to the insulin produced; this is known as insulin resistance. Type 2 diabetes accounts for approximately 90% of all adult diabetes cases in Qatar. Lifestyle hereditary features are the main risk factors for type 2 diabetes. The signs symptoms of type 2 diabetes are often less obvious some people may not know they have the illness. It is important that if you think you have any of the symptoms that you see your doctor.

What causes type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to maintain a normal blood glucose (sugar) level. Type 2 also occurs when the body is unable to use the insulin that is produces – this is known as insulin resistance. Lifestyle hereditary features are the main risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

Preventing type 2 diabetes

In many cases, type 2 diabetes is preventable. Therefore, lifestyle changes​ such as maintaining a healthy weight, healthy eating, physical activity stopping smoking are important steps towards dramatically lowering the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

How is type 2 diabetes treated?

Managing type 2 diabetes is the basis for treatment; there is currently no known cure for diabetes. Managing type 2 diabetes requires lifestyle modifications, specifically increasing one’s exercise making dietary modifications. Paying particular attention to the type amount of food consumed, weight control stopping smoking cigarettes shisha are all part of the treatment plan. Patient education is also a key element of effective treatment. As diabetes is a progressive illness, medication in the form of tablets or injections may become necessary for managing the disease.

Type 2 treatment diagram:

Gestational Diabetes

What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that appears only in pregnant women who are not already diabetic – usually around the 24th week of pregnancy. Having gestational diabetes does not automatically mean that you will have diabetes after delivery; this form of diabetes occurs when a woman’s pancreatic function is not sufficient to overcome the insulin resistance created the placenta during pregnancy. Effective control treatment of gestational diabetes is important for the health of both mother ba.

What causes gestational diabetes?

During pregnancy the body is producing a number of hormones from the placenta to help the ba grow develop. These hormones can create a block in the mother’s insulin function, resulting in insulin resistance; the body cannot produce or use the insulin required during pregnancy. The cause of gestational diabetes is not fully understood but there are identified risk factors:

  • A family history of type 2 diabetes (parent, brother or sister)
  • Obesity
  • An unexplained stillbirth or neonatal death in a previous pregnancy
  • A very large ba in a previous pregnancy (4.5kg or over)
  • You have had gestational diabetes before
  • Your family origin is Middle Eastern, South Asian or Black Caribbean.

Preventing gestational diabetes?

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle  making healthy choices around food intake exercise levels before during pregnancy can reduce the risk of gestational diabetes. Early tests effective control measures will, in most cases, mean that gestational diabetes disappears after delivery.

How is gestational diabetes treated?

Gestational diabetes treatment will depend on the individual often involves diet exercise modifications, as per a clinician’s advice. In some cases, medication insulin injections may also be necessary. Early detection of gestational diabetes is key to effective treatment usually results in the disease disappearing after delivery.
Complications of gestational diabetes

In most cases, glucose levels return to normal after delivery but there is evidence that the presence of this type of diabetes can result in complications for both mother child:

  • Children born in these circumstances are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.
  • The mother is at a considerably higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes related health issues.
  • Higher risk of stillbirth.
  • Higher risk of miscarriage.
  • Gestational diabetes can affect the weight of the ba at birth; often requiring delivery via a caesarean section​​​.


What is prediabetes?
People with type 2 diabetes almost always have prediabetes first; this means that they have higher than normal blood glucose (sugar) levels, but that those levels are not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Prediabetes is therefore a good indicator to assess a person’s risk of developing the disease in the future.

What causes prediabetes?

The following are the main risk factors for developing prediabetes include unhealthy lifestyle factors, such as being overweight, poor diet, low activity smoking a family history of diabetes.

Preventing prediabetes

In most cases prediabetes is preventable. Making good lifestyle choices incorporating healthy eating, exercising stopping smoking are the best ways to actively prevent the occurrence of prediabetes. Unlike type 2 diabetes, prediabetes can be reversed. However, if prediabetes isn’t treated, it can develop into type 2 diabetes, which is incurable.

How is prediabetes treated?

Prediabetes is treated as a preventable disease patient education is the primary treatment; this includes detailed information about diet, exercise making healthy choices. Adapting your lifestyle is the most effective treatment for prediabetes. The aim is to diagnose treat this condition as early as possible, to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.

From prediabetes to diabetes

Prediabetes is the first step of a progressive disease. If left untreated it can develop further into type 2 diabetes, which is then incurable. There are a range of health complications associated with type 2 as it progresses further, such as increased risk of heart disease, stroke, nerve damage vision problems.

Diagnostic Criteria

In order to diagnose diabetes, blood glucose is measured at two separate times; once when fasting again two hours after food has been consumed. The table below indicates the blood glucose criteria for diabetes diagnosis.

Complications of Diabetes

There are a number of health complications which are directly linked to diabetes; they can be divided into two areas – acute chronic.

Acute – Serious complications that can develop very quickly. These complications can also be treated quickly effectively, if treatment is administered promptly. Acute complications are primarily a result of uncontrolled blood glucose levels include hyperglycaemia, hypoglycaemia, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) hypoglycaemic hyperosmolar state (HHS).

Chronic – Serious complications that develop over many years. In the case of chronic complications, damage often occurs before any symptoms present, which means treatment is long term. Routine checks for common chronic diabetes complications are recommended for diabetes patients as a preventative measure. These complications may include cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, blindness nerve damage.​

Acute Complications of Diabetes


Hypoglycaemia is a condition caused low blood glucose. It is important to underst the symptoms, precautions treatment available.

Hyperglycaemia is a condition caused high blood glucose. Avoiding hyperglycaemia knowing how to treat it can save your life.
Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) 

DKA can be linked to high low blood glucose levels – although more commonly to high.

Hypoglycaemic Hyperosmolar State (HHS)

HHS is a less common but very serious acute complication of diabetes associated with very high glucose levels.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Quick Facts

  • If the body’s cells don’t get enough glucose it starts to burn fat for energy.
  • When the body burns fat instead of glucose it causes waste products called ketones.
  • Ketones are usually associated with high blood glucose, but also may occur when a child is ill blood glucose levels fall below the patient’s target range.
  • At first, ketones will be cleared the kidneys into the urine but, as their production increases, they build up in the bloodstream, increasing the acidity of the blood causing diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a potential medical emergency.
  • Ketoacidosis needs to be treated quickly as it can lead to a diabetic coma
  • Blood urine tests can detect high levels of ketones easily.

Ketones Hyperglycaemia

Diabetic ketoacidosis can develop over hours or days is associated with hyperglycaemia – a build-up of ketones in the blood, dehydration. Hyperglycaemia alone does not usually result in a medical emergency. The following situations may lead to a build-up of ketones along with hyperglycaemia, which can lead to a medical emergency:

  • Illness infection.
  • Significant or prolonged insulin deficiency from failure to take any insulin or the correct amount of insulin

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Symptoms

  • Severe abdominal pain with vomiting.
  • Dry mouth extreme thirst
  • Fruity breath, heavy breathing shortness of breath.
  • Chest pain
  • Increasing sleepiness or lethargy.
  • Depressed level of consciousness

Seeking Medical Treatment

  • If you have 1+ of ketones in your urine, contact your diabetes educator urgently.
  • Drink plenty of water (6 to 10 cups of water within two hours)
  • Take an extra dose of rapid acting insulin re-check your blood sugar.
  • If it is still high, re-check the ketone level. If your ketone level is not lower, please go to the Emergency Department

Source: Hamad Medical Corporation

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