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World Diabetes Day: Types and warning signs

Learn about the different types of diabetes and warning signs that you need to be cautious of here.

World Diabetes day
Image: Instagram / jne.ambon

The 14th of November marks World Diabetes Day - a very important day as it highlights and spreads awareness of what is commonly known as 'the silent killer'. 

Diabetes is a disorder of the metabolism, it's the way our bodies use digested food for growth and energy. 

The International Diabetes Federation's 2015's Annual Report states an estimated 2.28 million people are living with the condition in South Africa. 

In light of this shocking statistic, here are some very important facts and common signs associated with diabetes from

There are three main types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas stops producing insulin. People with type 1 diabetes must inject insulin to survive. Insulin dosages are carefully balanced with food intake and exercise programmes.

Read: Why you should test for diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is caused when the insulin, which the pancreas produces, is either not enough or does not work properly. Approximately 85 – 90% of all people with diabetes are type 2, and many people who have this condition, are undiagnosed. Most type 2s are over 40. They are usually overweight and do not exercise. Type 2 diabetes may be treated successfully without medication.

Gestational diabetes is a temporary condition that occurs during pregnancy. Both mother and child have an increased risk of developing diabetes in the future.

According to, these are common warnings signs of diabetes: 

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased hunger (especially after eating)
  • Dry mouth
  • Frequent urination or urine infections
  • Unexplained weight loss (even though you are eating and feel hungry)
  • Fatigue (weak, tired feeling)
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches

This video below shares some insightful facts on women and diabetes:

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