What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a serious long term illness that can affect the quality of your life. However you can learn to manage this illness using the advice we have provided here.

Diabetes occurs when there is too much sugar or glucose in the blood. Although glucose is needed for the body to work well, this sugar remains in the blood rather than going to the heart or body to help it work as it should do.

Another reason why people may have diabetes is because the body is not producing enough insulin or using insulin efficiently enough. Insulin is vital for changing sugar (glucose) into energy for the body to use.

People from countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, India or Somalia are more likely to have diabetes. One reason for this can be the amount of weight around the stomach which can increase your chances of having diabetes.

In Islam, our bodies are a divine trust (amanah) and as such, they must be taken care of. The Prophet peace be upon him was once asked whether people should tie their camels or trust in God to keep the camels safe. He famously replied: “Tie your camel and then trust in God.” Similarly, it is an Islamic obligation to have a healthy lifestyle and diet, and then trust in God to keep us healthy.

Signs of diabetes:

  • Thirst and drinking water frequently
  • Having to pass urine frequently especially at night
  • Severe tiredness
  • Frequent skin infections such as boils
  • Excessive hunger
  • Blurred vision

Complications of diabetes include:

  • Heart disease
  • Strokes
  • Eye problems
  • Kidney failure
  • Depression

Facts about diabetes:

  • You are more likely to develop diabetes if you are overweight
  • Although praying is a good activity it is not enough exercise and you should do more if you have diabetes
  • Having a balanced healthy diet with plenty of vegetables and not too much fat is a very good way of making sure that your diabetes does not get worse

What is Type I diabetes

Type 1 diabetes develops when the the body is unable to produce any insulin. Without insulin, glucose cannot be changed into fuel for the body and instead builds up in the blood. This type of diabetes can develop at any age but usually before the age of 40 and especially in childhood.

What is Type II diabetes

Type 2 diabetes develops when the body can still make some insulin, but not enough, or when the insulin that is produced does not work properly. Glucose still builds up in the blood rather than being changed into fuel for the body.
It often appears from the age of 25 although it is becoming more common in children as well.


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Up to 1 in 25 people in the UK is affected by diabetes, but what is it?