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Diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose in the blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly. 

Glucose comes from the digestion of carbohydrate-containing food and drinks and is also produced by the liver. Insulin is vital for life. It is a hormone produced by the pancreas and helps the glucose to enter the cells where it is used as fuel for energy so we can work, play and generally live our lives.

Diabetes types

There are two main types of diabetes and some other less common types. These are:

Type 1

Type 1 is caused by failure of the pancreas to produce insulin. This results in an insulin deficiency which means that there is too much glucose in the bloodstream. People with Type 1 diabetes require treatment with insulin to survive. 
It can occur at any age but onset is most common before the age of 40. Type 1 diabetes accounts for approximately 13.1 per cent of all people with diabetes in Lanarkshire.

Type 2

Type 2 is caused by a combination of insulin resistance and a reduction in insulin production. It requires management with varying combinations of lifestyle management, oral or injectable medication. This type of diabetes usually appears in people over the age of 40, though in South Asian and African-Caribbean people often appears after the age of 25. However, recently, more children are being diagnosed with the condition, some as young as seven. Type 2 diabetes is the more common of the two main types and accounts for 86.5 per cent of all people with diabetes in Lanarkshire.

Gestational Diabetes

This is a type of diabetes that can develop during pregnancy. It affects approximately two to three in every 1000 pregnancies and 95 per cent of cases require intensive management with insulin and lifestyle intervention. It can be an indication that diabetes will develop in the future.

You can also develop diabetes due to other conditions such as:

  • Pancreatic disease
  • Endocrine disease
  • or induced by drugs called steroids or thiazides.

The management of this type of diabetes is the same approach as in Type 2 Diabetes.