In type 1 diabetes your pancreas stops producing insulin. This is a type of autoimmune disease. Type 1 diabetes is not caused by lifestyle problems and doesn’t often run in families. You will usually need insulin treatment from the start of the condition, which can occur at any age.
In type 2 dibetes your pancreas can still usually produce some insulin, but not enough to keep your blood sugar within healthy levels. Type 2 diabetes may well run in your family and it is also influenced by your lifestyle and weight. So you will usually be supported with dietary and lifestyle advice, which can help or even reverse your diabetes. In addition you may be treated with tablets and/or injections treatments and insulin injections are sometimes needed.
Diabetes can cause you to have complications if your blood sugar is uncontrolled. Your blood vessels and nerves can be affected. It can increase your cholesterol and blood pressure. It can affect your vision, kidney function and the feeling in your hands and feet but everyone is affected differently. So you need to have monitoring through your GP at least once a year which includes blood tests, eye, urine and foot checks.
Type 1 diabetes is usually managed by specialist hospital teams in the NHS led by a specialist like me, supported by your GP.
Type 2 diabetes is usually managed by your GP and practice nurse, but if you run into problems you may be referred to a specialist like me.
For more information about type 1 diabetes read here
For more information about type 2 diabetes read here
- Hormone Facts & Information