Diabetes is a common condition but some HIV medication has also been linked to it.
Type 2 diabetes can sometimes be caused by lifestyle and is more common when people are overweight and do not exercise enough. It can also develop in people with HIV - links have been found between Type 2 diabetes and some antiretroviral treatments. These include:
Diabetes is also linked to ageing, so as people living with HIV become older this adds a further risk factor for diabetes.
Most people on antiretroviral treatment will have routine blood glucose tests to check for signs of diabetes.
Other early signs of diabetes include:
If you have diabetes you have too much glucose in the blood (blood sugar) because your body cannot use it properly. When you eat, glucose is made from your food, which is then used by your cells to make energy. The glucose in your body is regulated by insulin, which is a hormone made by your pancreas - it helps the glucose get into your cells so they can use it.
There are two types of diabetes. If you have Type 1, your pancreas doesn’t make any insulin, this is usually diagnosed in childhood.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when you don’t produce enough insulin (insulin deficiency) or your body cannot use the insulin you do make (insulin resistance) so the glucose stops being regulated. Eventually the levels of glucose in the blood become too high, resulting in what is known as high blood sugar.
The good news is that Type 2 diabetes can be managed initially by lifestyle changes including stopping smoking, taking more exercise, improving your diet and losing weight if necessary.
These measures will often keep your blood glucose levels under control, although it will probably need to be managed with medication at some point.
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This article was last reviewed on
by Anna Peters
Date due for the next review: 12/2/2018
Content Author: Kerri Virani
Current Owner: Health promotion
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Various people talk about their experiences of living with HIV.
CAB - Citizens Advice Bureau
HIV Drug Interactions
George House Trust
Equality and Human Rights Commission
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