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World Diabetes Day

How much do you know about diabetes? 

If you asked most people what they know about diabetes they would be able to tell you that it is connected to ‘blood sugar levels’ and ‘insulin’ and that there is more than one type. Would they be able to tell you how many different types of diabetes there are or how having diabetes affects the day to day lives of people who have it?

Diabetes is considered an invisible disability and unless you know someone with diabetes you may not realise what they have to do every day to manage it or how society’s reaction can make them feel.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition were someone’s body attacks the cells that produce insulin so no insulin is produced. Insulin helps our bodies to move glucose sugar from our blood into our muscles and give us energy. This type of diabetes has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. About 10% of people with diabetes have Type 1.

Type 2 diabetes is a condition were the body does produce insulin but either it does not produce enough insulin or the insulin cannot move the glucose sugar from our blood into the cells in our muscles because something is stopping it. Fatty deposits can stop insulin from helping our body move glucose sugar from our blood into our muscles. Over half of Type 2 diabetes cases can be delayed or prevented through a healthy lifestyle. About 90% of people with diabetes have Type 2.

Both types of diabetes mean that glucose sugar can build up in the person’s blood stream and that they need to test their blood sugar levels regularly. There is a helpful short video that tells you more here

To hear stories from people whose lives have been affected by diabetes and how other people’s reactions can be helpful or hurtful visit the Diabetes UK website