Diabetes is a serious condition where the pancreas cannot make insulin or the insulin it makes does not work properly.

We all need insulin as it helps take the glucose from our blood into our body’s cells. We then use this glucose for energy. Without insulin the blood glucose (sugar) levels in the body keep rising and becomes too high.

There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. In Scotland nearly 11% of diabetes cases are type 1 and nearly 88% are type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes

If you have type 1 diabetes, it means you have an autoimmune condition. This means your body has attacked and destroyed the cells that make the hormone called insulin. So your body can’t make insulin anymore. Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, but occurs most often in children and young people.

Type 2 diabetes

If you have type 2 diabetes, either your body doesn’t make enough insulin, or your insulin doesn’t work properly. This is known as insulin resistance. Like type 1, this means the level of glucose in your blood is too high.

Over the long-term, high glucose levels in your blood can lead to damage to the body, including heart, eyes, feet and kidneys.

Gestational diabetes

During pregnancy, some women have such high levels of blood glucose that their body is unable to produce enough insulin to absorb it all. This is known as gestational diabetes.