What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that happens when a person's blood sugar (glucose) level becomes too high because the body can't use it. It can cause serious health problems if it is not treated.
There are 2 main types of diabetes:
The body's immune system attacks and destroys the cells that make insulin. This means that the body cannot make any insulin.
Around 10% of all adults with diabetes have type 1 and daily doses of insulin are required to treat it. There are no lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk of type 1 diabetes, however a healthy diet and exercise are recommended.
The body does not make enough insulin, or the body's cells do not react to insulin.
Healthy diet and increased exercise are used to treat type 2 diabetes and medication is often required. Around 90% of all adults with diabetes in the UK have type 2.
Other types of diabetes
- Gestational diabetes is when some women do not produce enough insulin to absorb the high levels of blood glucose produced during pregnancy
- Pre-diabetes is when your blood glucose level is higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes
Visit Diabetes UK for more information.