Common and Rare Diabetes
Most people have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Type 1 is the commonest in children and affects about 1 in 500 children in Europe. Type 2 diabetes is commoner in adults and affects up to 5% of all adults.
Other types of diabetes are collectively rare, accounting for less than 5% of all people affected by diabetes. These may be secondary to other conditions such as organ transplant, cystic fibrosis or blood disorders; or primary genetic. There is a useful website for health professionals that explains the different types of genetic diabetes and diagnostic tests available (www.diabetesgenes.org)
Type 1 diabetes
Nearly all children and young adults who have diabetes have this type of diabetes. Because the pancreas gland in Type 1 diabetes doesn’t produce enough insulin this means these people have to take regular insulin injections just like you. About 1 in 400 school aged children have this type of diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes
Most of the people with this type of diabetes are older adults but occasionally children and young adults do get Type 2 diabetes. The people who get this sort of diabetes can often control it with a low sugar diet and/or tablets and some people do go onto insulin, usually when they have had Type 2 diabetes for a little while. Type 2 diabetes happens when the body still makes insulin but not in large enough amounts or the insulin it is making cannot work properly and blood glucose levels rise.