Diabetes is a serious health condition and there are two main types: Type 1 and Type 2. How do they differ and what treatments are available?

Diabetes is a major health condition in the UK. New figures from Diabetes UK highlight that 4.7 million people in the UK now live with a type of diabetes, and one in 10 over 40s has Type 2 diabetes. It estimates that 5.5 million people in the UK will have diabetes by 2030.

Types of diabetes

There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Although both relate to high blood glucose levels, they are different conditions. There are also a number of rarer types.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas cannot make insulin to regulate blood glucose levels and transport glucose from the blood and into cells. The cells in the pancreas which produce insulin, beta cells, are attacked by the immune system causing the body to be unable to produce insulin, leading to Type 1 diabetes.

As a result of the body not being able to produce enough insulin, people with Type 1 diabetes need to take insulin regularly by injections or through a pump.

According to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Ltd (JDRF), the reasons why the immune system attacks and destroys beta cells are unknown, yet around 330,000 people in the UK have Type 1 diabetes and over 29,000 of them are children. JDRF says that incidences of Type 1 diabetes are increasing by 4% each year and particularly in children under five, where there has been a 5% increase each year over the last 20 years. Around 90% of people with Type 1 diabetes have no family history of the condition.

Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes UK says that around 90% of people with diabetes have Type 2. It is estimated that approximately 3.8 million people in England have diagnosed or undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes, with over 200,000 people in England being diagnosed each year.

Unlike Type 1 diabetes where the body’s immune system attacks the insulin producing cells, in Type 2 diabetes the body does produce insulin but not enough, or the insulin it produces does not work properly. This creates a cycle where the insulin doesn’t work properly so the pancreas tries to produce more, and glucose levels continue to rise.

NHS.UK says that a person is at more risk of developing Type 2 diabetes if they are over …read more

Source:: Daily Times


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