About sharing Image source, Thinkstock A "worryingly high" number of children with type 1 diabetes have warning signs of long-term health complications, including blindness, a report says. And charities say this leaves "great concern" for their future health - some patients show early markers of eye, heart and kidney disease.
Whereas type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune response directed against the insulin-producing beta islet cells of the pancreas, type 2 diabetes is caused by exhausting those beta cells through excessive energy consumption. Essentially, if one eats too much and has high blood glucose levels, the beta cells have to produce more and more insulin to keep up, eventually leading to accumulation of damage and death.
Data from England and Type 1 diabetes cure suggests more than 1, new cases were recorded in people under last year. But overall blood sugar control in this group has improved, the study shows.
Type 1 diabetes often appears in childhood. It is caused by the immune system destroying cells in the pancreas, leaving patients unable to control their blood sugar. This is different to the far more common type 2 diabetes, which is largely due to an unhealthy lifestyle.
Media caption, Kyle O'Keefe, who has type-1 diabetes: "There are lots of things that can go wrong" Barbara Young, Diabetes UK chief executive, said there was evidence that children were experiencing problems with their eyesight or kidneys before they reached their 18th birthday.
She said: "This is tragic and we have great concerns for their future health if they are already showing signs of complications at such a young age.
Many young people with this form of diabetes live in deprived areas of England and Wales.