About diabetes

Type 1 diabetes affects around two in 1,000 children and young people. The majority of children and young people that have diabetes have type 1 diabetes, only 5% have either type 2 diabetes or other, rarer forms of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is much more common in adults than type 1.

Most media reports talk about type 2 diabetes rather than type 1, which is a lifelong condition in which the immune system attacks and destroys the cells that make insulin in the pancreas. Our bodies rely on insulin to take glucose from our blood and give us energy, people with type 1 diabetes need to receive insulin by injection or by using an insulin pump.

The cause of type 1 diabetes is not yet fully understood, but we are involved with many research projects around prevention, as well as improving the lives of those with diabetes. This is why we would like to give every child and young person the chance to take part in research trials, should they want to get involved.

Rare diabetes

We provide nationally commissioned services for several rare syndromes associated with diabetes. We run regular multi-disciplinary clinics for children and young people from all over the UK who have Alstrom Syndrome, Wolfram Syndrome and Bardet-Biedl Syndrome.

The Diabetes Department is located on the ground floor of the main hospital next to the medical day care unit.

Find out who makes up our Diabetes team.
Follow us on Twitter - @bchdiabetes

Diabetes medicines and equipment

Your GP will prescribe:

  • Insulin
  • Blood glucose strips
  • Needles
  • Glucogel
  • Glucagon kit
  • Other medicines such as Metformin (in type 2 diabetes)

To obtain a sharps box for patients in Birmingham, call: 0121 303 1112 or email: cliniccalwaste@birmginham.gov.uk

Useful diabetes links