Guide to Diabetes

Guide to Diabetes

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a long-term medical condition where the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood is either too high or too low and therefore stops the body working properly.
This happens because:

According to Diabetes UK there are 3.2 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK and an estimated 630,000 people who have the condition, but don’t know.

 What is insulin?

Insulin works as a chemical messenger that helps your body use the glucose in your blood to give you energy. You can think of it as the key that unlocks the door to the body’s cells. Once the door is unlocked, glucose can enter the cells where it is used as fuel. In Type 1 diabetes the body is unable to produce any insulin so there is no key to unlock the door, and the glucose builds up in the blood.

Clinical trials

Diabetes researchers are carrying out clinical research projects all around the world. They are reliant on people volunteering their time to help test ideas and make new discoveries. Before new treatments can be used to help people with diabetes they must be carefully tested to determine their safety and effectiveness. By taking part in such trials you could play an important role in helping to prevent diabetes, to develop new and better treatments, or to find a potential cure. Researchers will work with people of different ages and backgrounds and sometimes they look for a specific medical history and criteria.

Follow the links below to learn about current trials that need volunteers. The list is provided for information purposes only and should not be treated as advice or a recommendation for participation in any of the studies. If you would like to take part in a clinical trial you should always consult your healthcare team and speak to the healthcare professionals involved in the study. You should be aware that there may be adverse side effects or disadvantages when participating in research or trials.

Visit Essex Diabetic Eye Screening Programme website for details of clinic locations and how to book an appointment.

Other Services


Click a type of diabetes to learn more:

Guide-Type1 Guide-Type2

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