Did You Know There Are Two Types of Diabetes?

There are two types of diabetes, with slightly different causes and treatments: Type 1 and Type 2. Whilst often referred to as Diabetes, the treatment of the two conditions can and do vary significantly.

Your body and how Diabetes works

Both Type 1 and Type 2 develops when glucose can’t enter the body’s cells to be used as fuel. This happens when either:

  • There is no insulin to unlock the cells (Type 1)
  • There is not enough insulin or the insulin is there but not working properly (Type 2).

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 is the least common and accounts for around 10% of all cases in the UK. It is unpreventable and usually, develops suddenly and occurs before the age of 40.

Type 2 Diabetes

In contrast, many people have Type 2 for years without realising it. Being overweight, inactive and smoking increase the likelihood of developing Type 2.

In the UK, diabetes affects around 2.9m people. In addition, there are thought to be around 850,000 people with undiagnosed diabetes.

  • The NHS spends around 10% of its budget on both Type 1 and Type 2 and the prevalence of the condition is predicted to rise to 4m by 2025. An estimated £14bn is spent each year treating diabetes and its complications, with the cost of treating complications representing the much higher cost.
  • The rate of people affected by Type 1 diabetes is rising by 4% annually in the UK and we do not know why.
  • There is no cure for diabetes but it can be managed effectively with medication, diet and exercise.

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