In the UK, someone is diagnosed with diabetes every two minutes, and over 3.8 million people have been diagnosed. Diabetes is a serious, lifelong condition that causes high levels of glucose in the blood. There are two main types: type 1 and type 2. They are different conditions, so understanding the difference is key. 

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body cannot make insulin, as a result of the body's immune system attacking the cells in the pancreas. This type mostly affects children and young adults and symptoms can develop quickly. 

Once diagnosed you will require insulin to help manage the condition and monitor your blood glucose regularly. Without this, over time you may develop complications such as heart and kidney disease and sight problems.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is much more common than type 1 and occurs when the pancreas isn't making enough insulin or the body can no longer use the insulin it makes. High levels of glucose in the blood can damage the walls of arteries, making them more likely to develop fatty deposits, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Type 2 tends to develop gradually as people get older and you could be living with this for a number of years before you are diagnosed, so it is important to be aware of the risk factors and what to look out for. Type 2 can be prevented, but if you already have, it can be successfully managed in a number of ways.

Some people are at a higher risk than others, due to ethnicity, genetics or lifestyle choices.

Smoking can increase risk by 30-40%, and if you have diabetes it is suggested you quit to avoid developing further complications. If you want help to quit smoking, your local stop smoking service, Smokefree Liverpool is available to support you.

Many adults in the population could be at risk of type 2 diabetes. It is easy to find out your risk score and what you can do about it by taking this quick test.  

It is important to know the signs and symptoms of diabetes. If you or someone you know have any of these symptoms, it does not mean you definitely have the condition, but you should contact your GP.

If you would like support or advice from trained advisors, contact the Diabetes UK helpline on 0345 123 2399 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm) or email helpline@diabetes.org.uk

Follow Facebook Diabetes UKX Diabetes UK or Instagram Diabetes UK, and use #DiabetesStories to post on social media. Share your story and encourage others to share theirs. This could be on social media to raise awareness or over a cuppa with a friend, however you feel comfortable.

Research at LJMU

Management of exercise and the support required is different between people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

LJMU is currently running a study for people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes, offering six months of personalised exercise support (within two years of diagnosis). If you are interested in taking part in the study visit MOTIVATE T2D.

The board of the EXTOD faculty (exercise for type 1 diabetes) aims to provide exercise advice for people living with type 1 diabetes. The EXTOD website is a great resource with a lot of useful information and the group offers a yearly conference for people to attend to learn more about managing exercise.

The number of individuals and their families affected by diabetes continues to increase across the UK and more than 13 million people are thought to be a risk of or have undiagnosed type 2 diabetes.

Visit the Diabetes UK website for more information.

Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)

Staff can use the Vivup EAP service to speak to a trained counsellor 24/7, 365 days a year. To access the support line, call 0330 380 0658 and mention you are LJMU staff or visit the website.