Diabetes mellitus (DM), commonly referred to as diabetes, is a group of metabolic disorders in which there are high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period. Symptoms of high blood sugar include frequent urination, increased thirst, and increased hunger. If left untreated, diabetes can cause many complications. Acute complications can include diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state, or death. Serious long-term complications include cardiovascular disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease, foot ulcers, and damage to the eyes.

Links To Peel

Peel was diagnosed as diabetic in 2001 when he discovered from travelling from Wales to Peel Acres that he had felt spectacular bad:

"On the way back, I felt spectacularly bad. I had to stop for a pee every 45 minutes. Having had about a dozen pees between Betwys-y-Coed and Suffolk I thought, this is not normal'. I went to see the doctor the next day, and they did a urine test which seemed to show that I wasn't diabetic.It was my wife, Sheila, who insisted that I had a blood test. I came home, sat down on the bed, and the phone rang. It was someone from the surgery telling me that I had to go to A&E - - right now." [1]

Peel was diagnosed at the West Suffolk Hospital and had to take a week off from his programmes from 11th September. After being released from hospital, Peel regularly injected insulin in his abdomen 'an area in which nature has been particularly generous to me', as Peel described in an interview with the BBC [2].

After mentioning his recently diagnosed diabetes in the Radio Times on his 02 October 2001 show, Peel was inundated with requests from newspapers and television shows wanting him to talk about it, mentioning on the programme "I've been diagnosed about ten days ago so I'm scarcely an authority on it."

In 2002, he finally appeared in a Channel 4 documentary called Bitter Sweet: The Story Of Diabetes talking about his diabetes.

Peel died in 2004 of a heart attack, whilst holidaying with his wife Sheila in Cusco, a city located at high altitude in Peru. Medical experts have warned about the dangers of high-altitude destinations for those on medication, including diabetes, where reduced oxygen can flag up undiagnosed heart or other problems.

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