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