What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition that causes your blood sugar level to become too high. It is a lifelong condition affecting 3.2 million people in the UK. An estimated 630,000 people have diabetes but don’t know they have it.

There are two types of diabetes:

Type 1

Your body is unable to produce insulin.

Type 1 diabetes is less common than Type 2 and can develop at any age. It usually starts before age 40, often during childhood.

Type 2

Your body is unable to produce enough insulin or cannot make the insulin you have work properly.

Type 2 diabetes is much more common than Type 1. About 90% of people with diabetes have Type 2. It usually starts after age 40 although it is now affecting younger people, including children. South Asian, African-Caribbean and Middle Eastern people are at greater risk of having Type 2 diabetes.