Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes causes the level of glucose (sugar) in your blood to become too high. It happens when your body can't produce enough of a hormone called insulin, which controls blood glucose. You need daily injections of insulin to keep your blood glucose levels under control.

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes are:

  • feeling very thirsty
  • peeing more than usual, particularly at night
  • feeling very tired
  • losing weight without trying
  • thrush that keeps coming back
  • blurred vision
  • cuts and grazes that aren't healing

Type 1 diabetes symptoms can come on quickly, particularly in children.

More written information can be found at: www.nhs.uk/type-1-diabetes

A local hopsital guide for children with type 1 diabetes can be found at: Cardiff & Vale paediatric diabetes videos 

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a common condition that causes the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood to become too high.  It can cause symptoms like excessive thirst, needing to pee a lot and tiredness. It can also increase your risk of getting serious problems with your eyes, heart and nerves. 

It is a lifelong condition that can affect your everyday life. You may need to change your diet, take medicines and have regular check-ups.  It's caused by problems with a chemical in the body (hormone) called insulin. It's often linked to being overweight or inactive, or having a family history of type 2 diabetes.

More written information can be found at: www.nhs.uk/type-2-diabetes


Many more people have blood sugar levels above the normal range, but not high enough to be diagnosed as having diabetes. This is sometimes known as pre-diabetes. If your blood sugar level is above the normal range, your risk of developing full-blown type 2 diabetes is increased.

If you are identified as having pre-diabetes you will enter our annual monitoring programme. Changes to lifestyle, diet and often weight loss are the best way to prevent slipping into full-blown type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes in Pregnancy

Most pregnant women with diabetes will go on to have a healthy baby, but there are some possible complications you should be aware of.

If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you may be at higher risk of having:

Pregnancy can increase your risk of developing recongnised diabetic problems with your eyes (diabetic retinopathy) and kidneys (diabetic nephropathy) or make existing problems worse. Some people with type 1 diabetes can develop diabetic ketoacidosis, where harmful chemicals called ketones build up in the blood.

Your diabetes can also affect your baby and they may be at higher risk of:

  • having health problems shortly after birth, such as heart and breathing problems, and needing hospital care
  • developing obesity or diabetes later in life
  • there's also a slightly higher chance of your baby being born with birth defects, particularly heart and nervous system abnormalities, or being stillborn or dying soon after birth

The best way to reduce the risks to you and your baby is to ensure your diabetes is well controlled before you become pregnant. Before you start trying for a baby, ask your GP or diabetes specialist for advice.

For more written information can be found at: www.nhs.uk/diabetes-pregnant