Diabetes mellitus, or diabetes, is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood.

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Diabetes is a serious and chronic condition which can affect the entire body. With diabetes, the body either can’t make insulin, enough insulin or is not effectively using the insulin it does make. Over time high glucose levels can damage blood vessels and nerves, resulting in long term health complications including heart, kidney, eye and foot damage.

In type 1 diabetes, symptoms are often sudden and can be life-threatening so it is usually diagnosed within hours or days.

In type 2 diabetes, many people have no symptoms at all, while other signs can go unnoticed being seen as part of ‘getting older’. By the time symptoms are noticed, complications of diabetes may already be present.

Common symptoms include:

  • Being more thirsty than usual
  • Passing more urine
  • Feeling tired and lethargic
  • Always feeling hungry
  • Having cuts that heal slowly
  • Itching, skin infections
  • Urinary tract or fungal infections
  • Blurred vision
  • Unexplained weight loss (type 1 or type 2 diabetes)
  • Gradually putting on weight (type 2 diabetes)
  • Mood swings
  • Headaches
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Leg cramps

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