Diabetes PDF Print E-mail

What is diabetes? 

Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic conditions characterised by high blood sugar (glucose) levels, that result from defects in insulin secretion, or action, or both. Diabetes mellitus, commonly referred to as diabetes was first identified as a disease associated with "sweet urine," and excessive muscle loss in the ancient world. Elevated levels of blood glucose (hyperglycemia) lead to spillage of glucose into the urine, hence the term sweet urine.

At present Insulin Pump Therapy is only recommended for people with Type 1 diabetes who meet NICE or SIGN guidance.

Could my child have diabetes?

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Type 1 Diabetes PDF Print E-mail

What is Type 1 diabetes? 

Also known as Juvenile Diabetes, Insulin Dependant Diabetes, IDDM...

Type 1 Diabetes is a condition that affects how the body uses glucose, a sugar that is the body's main source of fuel. This is how it should work.


Type 1 diabetes is an auto immune condition, where the body’s immune system has attacked the pancreas and destroyed the cells that make insulin. When a person has type 1 diabetes, the body is still able to get glucose from food, but the lack of insulin means that glucose can't get into the cells where it's needed. So the glucose stays in the blood. This makes the blood sugar level very high and causes a person to feel unwell and can have future severe diabetic complications.  

Once a person has type 1 diabetes, the pancreas can't ever make insulin again. Someone who has type 1 diabetes needs to take insulin through regular injections or an insulin pump to stay alive and to try and keep their blood glucose levels as near normal as possible to reduce the likelihood of future complications.

Around 27,000 people have Type 1 diabetes in Scotland.  

Common symptoms for all types of diabetes include:



  • Thirst

  • Passing urine frequently

  • Tiredness

  • Increased Appetite

  • Weight loss

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Type 2 Diabetes PDF Print E-mail

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Also know as Maturity onset, Non Insulin Dependant Diabetes, NIDDM, 

Type 2 is normally diagnosed over the age of 40, however more younger people are being diagnosed.  With type 2 diabetes, the illness and symptoms tend to develop gradually over weeks or months. This is because in type 2 diabetes you still make insulin (unlike type 1 diabetes). However, you develop diabetes because:

  • you do not make enough insulin for your body's needs, OR
  • the cells in your body do not use insulin properly. This is called 'insulin resistance'. The cells in your body become resistant to normal levels of insulin. This means that you need more insulin than you normally make to keep the blood glucose level down, OR
  • a combination of the above two reasons.

Type 2 diabetes is much more common than type 1 diabetes, first course of treatment is normally diet and exercise which  may progress to oral medication and possibly insulin.

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MODY - Maturity onset diabetes of the young PDF Print E-mail

Maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY) refers to any of several hereditary forms of diabetes caused by mutations in genes (inherited from either parent) disrupting insulin production.

MODY is often referred to as "monogenic diabetes" to distinguish it from the more common types of diabetes like type 1 and type 2, which involve more complex combinations of causes involving multiple genes (i.e., "polygenic") and environmental factors.

MODY 2 and MODY 3 are the most common forms. The severity of the different types varies considerably, but most commonly MODY acts like a very mild version of type 1 diabetes, with continued partial insulin production and normal insulin sensitivity. MODY is not type 2 diabetes in a young person, as might erroneously be inferred from the name.

For more information on MODY 

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Gestational Diabetes PDF Print E-mail

pregnancyDiabetes can develop during pregnancy in women who haven't previously had the condition. This is called gestational diabetes, and it affects around two to seven out of 100 pregnant women. It can lead to problems for the mother and baby if it isn't properly controlled.

During pregnancy, various hormones block the usual action of insulin. This helps to make sure your growing baby gets enough sugar. Your body needs to produce more insulin to cope with these changes. Gestational diabetes develops when your body can't meet the extra insulin demands of the pregnancy.

Gestational diabetes usually begins in the second half of pregnancy, and goes away after your baby is born. 

Other Types of Diabetes include:


Drug induced diabetes

Secondary diabetes

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