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Causes and Symptoms

Discovering Diabetes can save lives

Type 1 Diabetes develops when the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas have been destroyed. This may be triggered by a viral or other infection and, whilst there is a lot of research being undertaken into what makes these cells breakdown, the causes are at this time unknown.

Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of Diabetes, and people can live with it for many years without being aware that they have the condition. In today’s modern environment, there are many factors which can put people at risk.



There are several causes of Type 2 Diabetes. These can include:

  • A close member of your family has Type 2 Diabetes (parent or brother or sister).
  • You’re overweight or if your waist is 31.5 inches or over for women; 35 inches or over for Asian men and 37 inches or over for white and black men.
  • You have high blood pressure or you’ve had a heart attack or a stroke.
  • You’re a woman with polycystic ovary syndrome and you are overweight.
  • You’ve been told you have impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glycaemia.
  • If you’re a woman and you’ve had gestational Diabetes.
  • You have severe mental health problems.

Signs & Symptoms

The Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes are:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequently going to the toilet, to pass water, especially at night
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Weight loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Genital itching or regular occurrence of thrush
  • Slow healing of wounds


In Type 1 Diabetes the signs and symptoms will usually be very obvious, developing quickly, normally over a few weeks.

In people with Type 2 Diabetes the signs and symptoms will not be so obvious or even non-existent. Taking early action is key so if any of the symptoms apply to you, ask your GP for a Diabetes test.

In both types of Diabetes, the symptoms are quickly relieved once the Diabetes is treated. Early treatment will also reduce the chances of developing serious health problems.


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