What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a life-long condition that causes blood sugar levels to become too high. There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.1
Symptoms of diabetes include:
Other health conditions commonly linked to diabetes include:
People living in lower income areas are also believed to experience more linked health conditions as a result of their diabetes diagnosis, than people from wealthier areas. Depression is one of the most commonly linked health conditions.4
Most people will find out they have type 1 or type 2 diabetes after experiencing symptoms and visiting their GP. Your GP will talk to you about your symptoms, then ask you to complete a urine and blood test to check your blood sugar levels.1
Diabetes during pregnancy
Some women can develop diabetes during pregnancy. This is known as gestational diabetes. Find out more about gestational diabetes on the pregnancy and birth charity Tommy's website.
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Reviewed by: Mital Thakrar
Review date: October 2022
Next review: September 2025
Information and support for older people, including information about diabetes and how to manage it.
Children with Diabetes in the UK
Information and support for parents and young people with diabetes, including links to online support groups.
Information and support for people living with diabetes, including a helpline, online live chat service and local community support groups.
Information and support if you live in Scotland, including information about diabetes.
Information about diabetes, including risk, symptoms and treatments to manage diabetes.
Information and support for people during pregnancy and birth, including information about diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes).
- Diabetes. nhs.uk. Published October 18, 2017. Accessed November 12, 2020.
- Updates: Coronavirus and diabetes. Diabetes UK. Accessed November 30, 2020.
- Long AN, Dagogo-Jack S. Comorbidities of diabetes and hypertension: mechanisms and approach to target organ protection. J Clin Hypertens Greenwich Conn. 2011;13(4):244-251.
- Nowakowska M, Zghebi SS, Ashcroft DM, et al. The comorbidity burden of type 2 diabetes mellitus: patterns, clusters and predictions from a large English primary care cohort. BMC Med. 2019;17(1):145.
- Dharmalingam M, Yamasandhi PG. Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2018;22(3):421-428. doi:10.4103/ijem.IJEM_585_17