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What is Diabetes?

Diabetes causes people to have too much glucose (sugar) in their blood. We all need some
glucose because it gives us energy. We get glucose in our bodies where we break down the carbohydrates that we eat or drink. Then glucose is released into our blood.

We also need insulin – a hormone that is made by our pancreas. Insulin enables the glucose in our blood to enter our cells and fuel our bodies. 

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes causes the level of glucose (sugar) in your blood to become too high.

It happens when your body can’t make any insulin (the hormone that controls blood glucose) because your body attacks the cells in your pancreas.

Type 1 diabetes is not linked with age or being overweight – these are linked with type 2 diabetes.

What are the symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes?

Needing to urinate more often than usual
Feeling very thirsty
Feeling very tired
Losing weight without trying to
Thrush that keeps coming back
Blurred vision
Cuts and grazes that are not
healing
Fruity or sweet-smelling breath

What is the treatment for Type 1 Diabetes?

The treatment for Type 1 Diabetes is injecting insulin or using a pump for insulin every day to keep your blood glucose levels under control. Getting used to life with diabetes can take time but you can still live a normal life and there is lots of support available.

Type 2 Diabetes

If you have Type 2 Diabetes the insulin your pancreas makes either can’t work effectively, or your pancreas can’t make enough of it. This means your blood glucose sugar) levels keep rising.

What are the symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes?

Many people have type 2 diabetes without realising because symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell.

Needing to urinate more often than usual
Feeling very thirsty
Feeling very tired
Losing weight without trying to
Thrush that keeps coming back
Blurred vision
Cuts and grazes that are not
healing

What is the treatment for Type 2 Diabetes?

Most people need medication to control their type 2 Diabetes. This helps keep their blood sugar level as normal as possible and prevents health problems.

Reviewing and changing your diet is also advisable to keep your blood sugar level down.

Some people with type 2 diabetes are able to put their diabetes into remission. This means their blood sugar levels are healthy without taking any medication.

You may have to take medication for the rest of your life and your medication or dose may need to change over time. Getting used to life with diabetes can take time but you can still live a normal life and there is lots of support available.