Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Hyperglycaemia, or raised blood sugar, is a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes and over time leads to serious damage to many of the body's systems, especially the nerves and blood vessels.

In most humans, the blood sugar level varies from about 80 mg/dl to 120 mg/dl (3.9 to 6.0 mmol/litre) except shortly after eating when the blood glucose level rises temporarily (up to 140 mg/dl in a non-diabetic).
 
There are 3 main types of DIABETES:
  • Type 1 diabetes (previously known as insulin-dependent or childhood-onset) is characterized by a lack of insulin production. Without daily administration of insulin, Type 1 diabetes is rapidly fatal.
  • Type 2 diabetes (formerly called non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset) results from the body's ineffective use of insulin. Type 2 diabetes comprises 90% of people with diabetes around the world, and is largely the result of excess body weight and physical inactivity.
  • Gestational diabetes is hyperglycaemia which is first recognized during pregnancy.
 
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 180 million people worldwide have diabetes. It is estimated that this figure may be more than double by 2030. In 2005, approx 1.1 million people died from diabetes.

Over time, diabetes can damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves.
  • Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. 50% of people with diabetes die of cardiovascular disease (primarily heart disease and stroke). It is therefore important for Diabetics to monitor carefully their Blood pressure Level.
  • The overall risk of dying among people with diabetes is at least double the risk of their peers without diabetes.