Diabetes happens because the body can't use glucose (sugar) properly. Glucose comes from eating foods such as bread, rice, potatoes, sugar and sweet foods. It's important that people with diabetes look after their general health carefully because it is a life-long condition. There are lifestyle changes which might help keep it under control and improve overall health (seen in the case study of Matt).
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes develops if your body can't produce any insulin (insulin is a hormone that helps glucose to be used as 'fuel' by your body).
People with type 1 diabetes require regular insulin injections to correct the lack of natural insulin.
Type 1 diabetes usually affects young people, often in childhood, and is the least common of the two forms of diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes develops if your body can still make some insulin, but not enough; or because the cells in your body are not using the insulin properly.
This is called 'insulin resistance'. The number of young people with type 2 diabetes has increased in the UK, and it is much more common in people who are overweight or obese.
Here is a case study of Matt, 14, from Ipswich who challenged himself to make some small but very valuable lifestyle choices and proved that he could do it! The information is from One Life Suffolk who help the people of Suffolk lead healthier lives. Here is Matt's story.
You could speak to a school nurse for support and advice - they offer weekly confidential 'drop-ins' in secondary schools. Send a text to ChatHealth (07507 333356) or ask in school to find out more.
For more information, advice and support around diabetes, these websites might be helpful: