Types of Diabetes
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high.
There are 2 main types of diabetes:
Where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells
that produce insulin
Where the body does not produce enough insulin, or the body’s
cells do not react to insulin
Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1. In the UK, around 90% of all adults with diabetes have type 2.
During pregnancy, some women have such high levels of blood glucose that their body is unable to produce enough insulin to absorb it all. This is known as gestational diabetes (NHS.UK).
Causes of diabetes
The amount of sugar in the blood is controlled by a hormone called insulin, which is
produced by the pancreas (a gland behind the stomach).
When food is digested and enters your bloodstream, insulin moves glucose out of the blood and into cells, where it’s broken down to produce energy.
However, if you have diabetes, your body is unable to break down glucose into energy. This is because there’s either not enough insulin to move the glucose, or the insulin produced does not work properly.
There are no lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk of type 1 diabetes.
You can help manage type 2 diabetes through healthy eating, regular exercise and achieving a healthy body weight.
Read about how to reduce your diabetes risk (NHS.UK)
Diabetes UK can help you with information about signs & symptoms, living with diabetes and give you tailored support.
Telephone: 0345 123 2399
Derbyshire Live Life Better Service
For advice and help with weight loss, smoking cessation and
exercise programmes please visit:
When to see a doctor
Visit your GP as soon as possible if you experience the main symptoms of diabetes, which include:
– feeling very thirsty (NHS.UK)
– peeing more frequently than usual, particularly at night
– feeling very tired
– weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
– itching around the penis or frequent episodes of thrush (NHS.UK)
– blurred vision
Type 1 diabetes can develop quickly over weeks or even days.
Many people have type 2 diabetes for years without realising because the early symptoms tend to be general and slow to develop.
Living with diabetes
You can find apps and tools to help you manage your diabetes and have a healthier lifestyle in the NHS Apps Library (NHS.UK).
People diagnosed with type 1 diabetes also require regular insulin injections for the rest of their life.
As type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition, medicine may eventually be required, usually in the form of tablets.
At the Practice we run regular Diabetes clinics- both telephone and face to face with our Diabetes team.
Most people who develop diabetes will have type 2 Diabetes and this occurs mainly in people aged over 40. The first-line treatment is diet, weight control and physical activity.
The good news is many people can stay well using these lifestyle measures. However if the blood sugar (glucose) level remains high then tablets to reduce the blood glucose level are usually advised. Insulin injections are needed in some cases. Other treatments include reducing blood pressure if it is high, lowering high cholesterol levels, and also other measures to reduce the risk of complications.
This involves helping you with achieving lifestyle changes, advice on medicines you may need, arranging screening tests including foot and eye checks, to help avoid complications.
NHS - Lowering your Cholesterol
NHS.UK offers advice on keeping a healthy lifestyle and how to lower your cholesterol.