There are two main types of diabetes, known as Type 1 and Type 2. Both types of diabetes are lifelong health conditions. There are 3 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK and an estimated 850,000 people who have the condition but don’t know it.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes usually develops early in life and is the most common type of diabetes in children. It occurs when the body is unable to produce any insulin. Type 1 diabetes is treated with insulin injections, or by using an insulin pump. About 15% of people with diabetes have Type 1.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is the most widespread form of the condition and usually develops later in life. Type 2 diabetes develops when the body is unable to make enough insulin, or when the insulin that is produced does not work properly (known as insulin resistance).
People over the age of 25 from South Asian and African Carribean backgrounds and people over the age of 40 from Caucasian backgrounds are most at risk of developing Type 2.
Type 2 diabetes can be treated with diet and physical activity alone, or combining these with tablets. Due to the progressive nature of the condition, insulin treatment may be required later in life.
There are also some much rarer forms of diabetes, including gestational diabetes, which affects women during pregnancy.
If you are still unsure about the type of diabetes you have, talk to your doctor.
We also have a version of the below video in British Sign Language (BSL) with subtitles.