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It can cause serious health problems if it’s not treated. It‘s a common condition where the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood is too high, because the body isn’t converting glucose into energy as it should. To reduce blood glucose levels, the body tries to do this by flushing out the excess glucose through urine.
Insulin is a hormone (a chemical messenger) that carefully controls the amount of glucose in the blood. Insulin is made by a gland called the pancreas, which lies just behind the stomach.
Glucose from food gives the body energy, and insulin acts as a ‘key’ to the ‘lock’ in the cells that need glucose. The cells use glucose as fuel for your body. Glucose comes from the digestion of starchy foods such as bread, rice, potatoes, chapattis, yams and plantain, and from sweet foods.
When you have diabetes, the glucose in your body is not turned into energy. This means that the glucose stays locked outside the cells, making you feel tired and unwell. You feel tired because your body isn’t making enough insulin – or in some cases none at all.
If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your public health nurse.
Find out what services are available to you in your area. Remember your school nurse is always there to give you confidential help and support.
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