Diabetes is characterised by high blood glucose levels, caused by a defect in insulin secretion or insulin action, or both.

A lack of insulin is usually type 1 diabetes and insulin resistance is usually characterised as type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is a leading cause of preventable sight loss in people of working age and is a major contributor to kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke. There are currently five million people in England at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. If current trends persist, one in three people will be obese by 2034 and one in ten will develop type 2 diabetes. However, evidence exists which shows that many cases of type 2 diabetes are preventable.

The risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases if you are overweight or obese and is linked to your BMI and waist measurement. See the NHS Choices - reduce your diabetes risk page to find out if you are at increased risk.

You can find out if you're a healthy weight by calculating your body mass index (BMI) using the NHS Choices healthy weight calculator.

You can substantially reduce your risk of developing diabetes by living a healthy lifestyle, including being more physically active and eating a healthy diet.

You can see experiences of people living with type 2 diabetes on the Healthtalkonline.org website. You can also see the experiences of young people with type 1 diabetes. If you drive, you may need to tell the DVLA about your diabetes, depending on how it's treated and the licence you have. See the GOV.UK - diabetes and driving web page for more details.

Local support and services

A range of courses are available to help with the self-management of diabetes, including:

  • Dose adjustment for normal eating courses
  • Good2Go
    Small group sessions led by trained health professionals providing self-management education for people with type 2 diabetes, who are either newly diagnosed or who would benefit from an education update.
  • Brief intervention in type 1 diabetes, education for self-efficacy
    A three-day advanced self-management course for patients on a multiple injection insulin regime.
  • Carbohydrate counting workshop
    This workshop provides patients on a multiple injection insulin regime with the skills required to calculate the amount of carbohydrates in their diet and adjust their insulin regime accordingly.

Please contact your local area contact to see what is available in your area:


The X-PERT Diabetes Programme is for patients with type 2 diabetes, either newly diagnosed or who have had the condition for a long time. People can be referred by their GP, practice nurse or other health professional or sign up for it themselves by contacting the team based at Horton Park Diabetes Centre on 01274 323729. The aim is to support participants with setting realistic goals and making changes to their lifestyle, such as what they eat and increasing their activity level.

Patients from Dyneley House Surgery and Fisher Medical Centre in Skipton can join the Diabetes Support Group to learn how to live well with diabetes. For further information call the Health Promotion Officer on 07591 067930.


Contact the Harrogate diabetes centre on 01423 555345 for details of the services on offer and current courses.

Hambleton and Richmondshire

Contact the Hambleton and Richmondshire diabetes centre on 01609 764810 for details of services and current courses.

Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale

Contact the Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale diabetes centre on 01723 368111 for details of any services or courses on offer.


Contact the York diabetes centre on 01904 726510 for details of any services or courses available.

Diabetes - frequently asked questions

NHS Health Check

If you're aged 40-74 without a pre-existing condition, ask your GP about the NHS Health Check, a free five-yearly mid-life MOT to identify those at risk of serious, but potentially avoidable, conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease and certain types of dementia.

Additional information from NHS Choices

See the NHS Choices pages below for more information on diabetes:

Other useful sources of information

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