The month of November is National Diabetes Month with 14 th November having a World Diabetes
Awareness Day.

Did you know that 1 in 10 people have diabetes? 90% of those have type 2 diabetes and many are undiagnosed.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease which means the body’s immune system destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Type 1 diabetes is chronic condition and is often genetic and is not linked to age or being overweight. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin or use an insulin pump to manage their blood sugar levels. Again the risks associated with uncontrolled blood sugar levels can lead to the same symptoms as set out above.

Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder caused by the body not producing enough insulin. This can cause glucose to build up in the blood, leading to high blood sugar levels. If your type 2 diabetes is not managed with either diet, medication or a combination of both, then long term, this can lead to serious health consequences. Adopting and managing lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet, exercise and losing weight can often bring about change and medication may not be necessary.

Type 1 vs. Type 2 diabetes:

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes result in high blood sugar levels, the differences exist in how they develop and in treating and managing the disease. Type 1 diabetes symptoms tend to come on suddenly, whilst the symptoms for type 2 diabetes usually develop slowly over time. Diabetes is not something you are born with, however genetics can make them more likely to develop diabetes. An environmental trigger, such as a virus, may play a role in causing type 1 diabetes to develop. Family history, lifestyle habits and the environment may influence the development of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes develops over time and in some cases can be reversed with life style changes. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are serious if not managed or controlled and can lead to serious health problems such as: –

 Fatigue

 Increased thirst and urination

 Blurred vision that can lead to loss of sight or eye disease

 Slow healing sores and frequent infections

 Heart disease & stroke

 Nerve damage

 Foot problems that can lead to amputation

 Kidney disease


Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition, whilst type 2 diabetes is largely related to lifestyle habits and family history. People with type 1 diabetes require insulin as part of their treatment, whilst people with type 2 diabetes might be able to control their diabetes with diet, exercise and if required medication. Type 1 diabetes has no known prevention or cure. Type 2 diabetes may be prevented or delayed with lifestyle changes or medications.