On World Diabetes Day 2017, what is diabetes, what’s the difference between types 1 and 2 and what are the signs?

What is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?

All types of diabetes cause blood glucose levels to be higher than normal, but the two different types do this in different ways.

The distinction lies in what is causing the lack of insulin – often described as the key, that allows glucose to unlock the door to the cells.

With type 1 diabetes, a person’s pancreas produces no insulin, but in type 2 cells in the body become resistant to insulin, so a greater amount of insulin is needed to keep blood glucose levels within a normal range.

As well as being advised to eat a healthy diet and take more exercise, both forms of diabetes can be treated using different drugs

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As well as being advised to eat a healthy diet and take more exercise, both forms of diabetes can be treated using different drugs

What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is the more common form of the disease – accounting for between 85 and 95 per cent of all cases, according to Diabetes UK.

It develops when the insulin-producing cells in the body are unable to produce enough insulin.

It can also be triggered when the insulin that is produced doesn’t work properly.

Insulin is a hormone typically produced by the pancreas and allows glucose to enter the cells in the body, where it’s used for energy. Diabetes is where the body cannot properly use insulin, causing blood sugar levels to rise

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Insulin is a hormone typically produced by the pancreas and allows glucose to enter the cells in the body, where it’s used for energy. Diabetes is where the body cannot properly use insulin, causing blood sugar levels to rise

Who is at risk from type 2 diabetes?

Typically, people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes from the age of 40, but there are some exceptions.

In people from southern Asia the disease can appear as early as 25.

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