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Diabetes is a condition that causes the level of glucose (a type of sugar) in the blood to become too high. There are 2 main types of diabetes, called type-1 and type-2. Here we look at type-2 diabetes - the most common one to affect adults.

The pancreas (a large organ that sits behind the stomach) normally produces a substance called insulin that helps to move the glucose that we get from food, from the blood, into the cells of the body where it is used as an energy source. Type-2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to keep blood glucose levels within the normal range, or when the cells of the body do not respond properly to the insulin that is produced.

If this happens, blood glucose levels can become very high and if this is not treated it can lead to long-term complications. In Scotland around 250,000 people have diabetes and many more are living with the condition undiagnosed. Type-2 diabetes usually affects people over the age of 40 and accounts for around 90% of all adult diabetes diagnoses.

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Useful links

  • The Health A-Z section of this website contains information of the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of many types of illnesses.  It also includes video interviews with specialists and patients.  NHS inform is a new national health information service providing a single source of quality assured health information for the public in Scotland.

  • SHOW (Scotland's Health on the Web) provides information on more than 100 topics covering all aspects of healthy living and advice on coping with long-term health conditions as well as the NHS and health services.


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