Diabetes occurs because the body can’t use glucose properly, either owing to a lack of the hormone insulin or because the insulin available doesn’t work effectively.
- Type 1 diabetes develops when the body stops producing its own insulin. Insulin acts like a key that unlocks the door to the body’s cells. Once the door is unlocked, glucose from the foods we eat can enter the cells where it’s needed for energy. In Type 1 diabetes, cells that produce insulin are destroyed and glucose builds up in the blood. Type 1 diabetes usually appears before the age of 40, and especially in childhood. It accounts for between five and 15 per cent of all people with diabetes and is treated by daily insulin injections, a healthy diet and regular physical activity.
- Type 2 diabetes develops when the body can still make some insulin, but not enough, or when the insulin that is produced does not work properly (known as insulin resistance). Type 2 diabetes usually appears in people over the age of 40 but is also increasingly becoming more common in children and younger people as obesity levels increase. Type 2 diabetes accounts for between 85 and 95 per cent of all people with diabetes. It is treated with a healthy diet and increased physical activity. Medication and/or insulin is often required too.
If not well controlled, diabetes can cause serious health problems including heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and amputation.
It is one of the biggest health challenges we face with 3.2 million adults in the UK diagnosed with the condition. Research helps us to understand diabetes better and bring about improvements in its prevention, treatment and care.
If you are interested in taking part in any of our studies or want more information, please contact a member of the diabetes research team.
North Manchester General Hospital – 0161 720 2090
Salford Royal – 0161 206 2018
The ‘Help BEAT Diabetes’ campaign encourages those living with diabetes in Greater Manchester to get involved with a wide range of research opportunities in their local area.
For more information about the campaign please visit the Help BEAT Diabetes website.