As of December 2015, there were 3.5 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK.
It is also estimated that there are around 549,000 people in the UK who have diabetes, but have not been diagnosed.
Diabetes is now a common health condition. According to Diabetes UK, it is defined as “a metabolic disease in which the body’s inability to produce any or enough insulin which causes elevated levels of glucose in the blood”.
There are many elements that can lead to developing the disease, such as genes, lifestyle and environmental factors. Men are also more likely to develop diabetes than women – 56% of diabetics are men.
Type 1 diabetes develops when the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas have been destroyed. No one knows why the cells become damaged, but the cause is most likely an abnormal reaction to the cells, triggered by a virus or other infection. Only 10% of diabetics in the UK have been diagnosed with Type 1.
Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, mostly occurs in middle-aged or older people. But nowadays, younger overweight individuals are starting to be diagnosed with the disease.