Health A-Z: Diabetes
More than three million people in the UK live with diabetes. Another 850,000 have diabetes but don’t know it. The condition occurs when the level of sugar (glucose) in your blood becomes higher than normal. There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.
In type 1 diabetes your body stops making insulin (the hormone that balances your blood glucose level). This means blood glucose levels increase, which can seriously damage your body’s organs. It usually develops in children or in young adults. Type 1 diabetes is treated with insulin injections and diet.
Type 2 diabetes is far more common than Type 1, largely due to an increase in obesity, which increases risk of the condition. It occurs mainly in people aged over 40. With this type you still make insulin but you either don’t make enough for your body’s needs or the cells in your body do not use insulin properly (insulin resistance). Treatment is diet, weight control and physical activity. Medication to reduce the blood glucose level and insulin injections may be needed.