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Diabetes

Diabetes

Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high.

Types of diabetes

There are two main types of diabetes, referred to as type 1 and type 2.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to function properly, or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin. This is known as insulin resistance.
Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1 diabetes, which occurs when the body doesn’t produce any insulin at all. In the UK, about 90% of all adults with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.
This topic focuses on type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes usually affects people over the age of 40, although increasingly younger people are also being affected. It is more common in people of South Asian, African-Caribbean or Middle Eastern descent.

Diabetes symptoms

Diabetes can cause various symptoms. Symptoms common to both types of diabetes include:
feeling very thirsty
urinating frequently, particularly at night
feeling very tired
weight loss and loss of muscle bulk

Causes of type 2 diabetes

Insulin is a hormone produced by part of the pancreas, a large gland located behind the stomach.
Insulin controls the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood. It moves glucose from the blood into your cells, where it is converted into energy.
In type 2 diabetes, not enough insulin is produced to maintain a normal blood glucose level (insulin deficiency), or your body is unable to use the insulin that is produced effectively (insulin resistance).

Treating type 2 diabetes

It is important diabetes is diagnosed as early as possible. Diabetes cannot be cured, but treatment aims to keep your blood glucose levels as normal as possible to control your symptoms and minimise health problems developing later.
If you are diagnosed with diabetes, you may be referred to a diabetes care team for specialist treatment, or your GP surgery may provide first line diabetes care.
In some cases of type 2 diabetes, it may be possible to control your symptoms by altering your lifestyle, such as eating a healthy diet.
However, as type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition, you may eventually need medication to keep your blood glucose at normal levels. To start with this will usually take the form of tablets, but later on it may include injected therapies, such as insulin.

Complications

Left untreated, diabetes can cause many health problems. Large amounts of glucose can damage blood vessels, nerves and organs.
Even a mildly raised glucose level that doesn’t cause any symptoms can have damaging effects in the long term.

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Giving Plaque the Brush-Off

Giving Plaque the Brush-Off

To prevent cavities, you need to remove plaque, the transparent layer of bacteria that coats the teeth. The best way to do this is by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Brushing also stimulates the gums, which helps to keep them healthy and prevent gum disease. Brushing and flossing are the most important things that you can do to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Toothpastes contain abrasives, detergents, and foaming agents. Fluoride, the most common active ingredient in toothpaste, is what prevents cavities. So you should always be sure your toothpaste contains fluoride.

Tartar is plaque in a hardened form that is more damaging and difficult to remove. Using anti-tartar toothpastes and mouthwashes, as well as spending extra time brushing the teeth near the salivary glands (the inside of the lower front teeth and the outside of the upper back teeth) may slow the development of new tartar.

If you have teeth that are sensitive to heat, cold, and pressure, you may want to try a special toothpaste for sensitive teeth. But you’ll still need to talk to your dentist about your sensitivity because it may indicate a more serious problem, such as a cavity or nerve inflammation (irritation).

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