When we eat food, such as carbohydrates, it is broken down in the gut into sugars, which are then absorbed into the body.
To remain healthy, your blood glucose level should not go too high or too low. A hormone called insulin helps take glucose from the blood stream into the body’s cells. This helps to keep the blood sugar normal.
Serious complications of diabetes include an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and poor circulation, eye and vision problems, kidney damage, nerve damage, serious foot problems and impotence.
The risk of developing complications is reduced if the blood glucose level is well controlled, and other risk factors such as high blood pressure are dealt with.
To begin with diabetes in older people can be treated by diet and exercise, but with time it becomes more difficult to control blood sugar as resistance to the action of insulin gradually increases.
Diabetics then have to take tablets to lower glucose or later still use insulin to keep their blood sugar levels well controlled.
For more detailed information on diabetes visit British Diabetes Association website.