Northern Ireland Diabetes Network
The Diabetes Network brings together people living with diabetes, carers, and health and social care professionals working in partnership with Diabetes UK on the design and delivery of better diabetes services.
There are currently almost 100,000 people in Northern Ireland living with diabetes and this rises annually by more than 3,000 due to our ageing and growing population. It is estimated around 12,000 people are also living with Type 2 diabetes and have not yet been diagnosed.
The Network supports the implementation of the Department of Health’s (DoH) Strategic Framework for Diabetes, one of a series of initiatives to support the ‘Health and Well-being 2026, Delivering Together’ plan which aims to transform Health and Social Care (HSC) services across Northern Ireland.
The Network will lead the improvement of care for people in Northern Ireland who:
- are living with all types of diabetes,
- are at risk of developing diabetes,
- care for people who live with diabetes.
What is Diabetes
Diabetes is a condition where your blood sugar level is higher than normal.
There are two main types of diabetes:
- Type 1 – About 8% of people with diabetes have Type 1. No one knows exactly what causes it, but it’s not to do with being overweight and it isn’t currently preventable. It’s the most common type of diabetes in children and young adults, starting suddenly and getting worse quickly. Type 1 diabetes is treated by daily insulin doses – taken either by injections or via an insulin pump. It is also recommended to follow a healthy diet and take regular physical activity. Find out more about Type 1 diabetes on nidirect.
- Type 2 (formerly called non-insulin-dependent diabetes) – Around 90 per cent of people with diabetes have Type 2. They might get Type 2 diabetes because of their family history, age and ethnic background puts them at increased risk. They are also more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if they are overweight. It starts gradually, usually later in life, and it can be years before they realise they have it. Type 2 diabetes is treated with a healthy diet and increased physical activity. In addition, tablets and/or insulin can be required. Find out more about Type 2 disabetes on nidirect.
About 2% of people living with diabetes have other types of diabetes such as:
- Gestational Diabetes (diabetes in pregnancy)
- Type 3c Diabetes
- Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults ( LADA)
- 11 different forms of monogenic diabetes,
- cystic fibrosis related diabetes and
- diabetes caused by rare syndromes.
Certain medication such as steroids and antipsychotics, surgery or hormonal imbalances could also lead to other types of diabetes.
For more information about diabetes visit the Diabetes UK website.