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Diabetes is a long-term (chronic) condition caused by too much glucose (sugar) in the blood. It is also known as diabetes mellitus. There are two types of diabetes - type 1 and type 2.


More than three-quarters of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes mellitus. This used to be known as non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or maturity-onset diabetes mellitus. The number of people with type 2 diabetes is rapidly increasing as it is commoner in the overweight and obese, which is itself a growing problem.


The remainder have type 1 diabetes mellitus, which used to be known as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.


What's the treatment for diabetes?

It's recognised that the sooner the blood sugar levels are brought under control, the better the long-term prospects of preventing damage. Lifestyle advice about diet, weight management and regular activity is the first step.


Type 1 diabetes will require immediate insulin therapy, Type 2 diabetes will first be managed with a drug called Metformin, if lifestyle changes alone aren't effective. There are now several other drugs used in type 2 diabetes, although eventually some type 2 diabetics may need insulin therapy as it can be a progressive disease.


Click the image to download a guide to blood sugar testing for Type 2 Diabetes.

Useful Links

Diabetes Ireland

Diabetes Ireland works to provide a quality service in improving the lives of people affected by diabetes, and working with others to prevent and cure diabetes.

HSE - Diabetes

An introduction to both type 1 and type 2 diabetes - the symptoms, cause, diagnosis and treatment.


Please be advised that we do not take any responsibility for the content of the websites or documents referenced on this page, or information that you may receive from them. We advise all patients to discuss their health concerns with their GP.