a meal, a portion of the food a person eats is broken down
into sugar (glucose). The sugar then passes into the bloodstream
and to the body's cells via a hormone (called insulin) that
is produced by the pancreas.
Normally, the pancreas produces the right amount of insulin
to accommodate the quantity of sugar. However, if the person
has diabetes, either the pancreas produces little or no insulin
or the cells do not respond normally to the insulin. Sugar
builds up in the blood, overflows into the urine and then
passes from the body unused. Over time, high blood sugar levels
leading to diabetic retinopathy and possible blindness
vessels - increasing risk of heart attack, stroke and peripheral
- leading to foot sores and possible amputation
- leading to kidney failure.
has also been linked to impotence and digestive problems.