Being told that your child has diabetes can have a big impact on everyday family life but it’s important to remember that every child and their family will cope with the diagnosis differently.
The condition doesn't have to take away your child's freedom or end your usual family life.
We explore the symptoms of diabetes in children, how type 1 and type 2 are treated and what measures schools should have in place for diabetic children.
Types of diabetes
Type 1 diabetes
In type 1 diabetes, the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are destroyed by the immune system and so can’t produce insulin.
The exact cause of the immune system attacking these cells isn’t clearly understood. Unlike type 2 diabetes, which is usually slow to develop, type 1 comes on very quickly, often within days or weeks.
Type 2 diabetes
In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas either produces inadequate amounts of insulin, or the body is unable to use the insulin that’s produced (insulin resistance). It’s typically slow to develop, with some people being unaware of the condition for many years.
Cases of type 2 diabetes have become more common in young adults, teens and children1, with a connection to the increasing levels of obesity due to excess body weight and lack of physical activity.