In South Africa, the International Diabetes Foundation estimated that 840 000 people have diabetes. However it is likely that less than half of the cases are diagnosed. This incredibly widespread but little talked about disease affects a person for life and, when not diagnosed or managed, can be fatal.
There are two types of diabetes: Type 1- in which the pancreas stops producing insulin, it usually is presented in those under 30. Type 2- in which the insulin produced by the pancreas is not efficient. This usually occurs in those who are overweight.
While the symptoms of diabetes may be quick and obvious in the case of Type 1, they are quite different in Type 2, being very mild and less noticeable. The 8 sings of Diabetes are:
- Unusual thirst
- Frequent urination
- Extreme weight loss
- Fatigue or lack of energy
- Blurred vision
- Recurring infections
- Cuts or bruises are slow to heal
- Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet