We know that a diagnosis of diabetes, like any long-term condition, can feel devastating and overwhelming.

There will be so many questions that you want to ask; so much information available that you don’t know where to start and this can be a daunting prospect.

At DRWF, we provide a wealth of information to support those newly diagnosed with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. We provide diabetes and related health information that is relevant, clinically evidenced and up-to-date.

Diabetes is never mild and a diagnosis can be a daunting prospect. But with the right support and advice, it can be managed effectively.


At diagnosis you should be given a full explanation of diabetes and a care plan. You should be involved in agreeing goals and targets achievable by you and offered the chance to attend an educational event. Take a note of what is agreed. It will come in useful as you see your progress over time. At the very least you should have annual reviews for your diabetes including an explanation of blood tests, which, ideally, should be done a week or two prior to the consultation, to allow time for the results to be shared with you.

There is a national programme for eye screening for people with diabetes. You should also, as part of your annual health check, have your feet examined and your blood pressure reviewed. Most importantly, you should have an opportunity to discuss your care with your diabetes team and agree the next steps to protect your health.

Information and Support 

  • Join a support group such as our Diabetes Wellness Network or other voluntary group
  • Attend a Diabetes Wellness Event where you will hear diabetes and related health talks; make new friends; share information and experiences in a supported environment
  • Search the web for information from reputable sources such as NHS Choices
  • Share concerns and seek support from like-minded individuals through social media channels such as the DRWF diabetes forum on HealthUnlocked or look at our Twitter and Facebook pages, there are a significant number of people with diabetes, parents and carers and healthcare professionals who share their thoughts and seek the support of each other through the Diabetes Online Community, using the #DOC hashtag.

  • 4.9 million

    People are currently living with diabetes in the UK

  • £10 Billion

    The annual budget of the NHS on diabetes

  • 14%

    Of the UK population have diabetes.

Myth Busting

There are many "myths" that have been voiced regarding diabetes over the years. It’s good to know the fact and fiction, so here are just a few of the most common ones:

Several jars of sugar on a table.

Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is not caused by excessive sugar consumption or poor lifestyle choices. Instead, it is believed to be triggered by an auto-immune process where the body produces antibodies to the pancreas, damaging it and preventing it producing insulin. 

In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas struggles to produce enough insulin, or is producing insulin which cannot be effectively used by the body (insulin resistance). Type 2 is strongly linked to poor lifestyle choices and obesity, but can also be linked to age, family history and ethnicity. 


Young people get type 1 and older people get type 2.

People of any age can be diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. 

Type 1 diabetes usually starts below the age of 40. However, some people are diagnosed with the condition later in life.

Type 2 diabetes typically affects people over the age of 40, but young people can  also be affected. A recent NHS report on diabetes in the UK revealed that 1,600 children and young adults are currently living with type 2. 

A healthcare professional helping a patient.
An image of chocolate chunks in a pile.

People with diabetes cannot eat sweets.

Whilst sweets and other sugary foods may increase blood sugar levels, people with diabetes do not need to completely avoid them. Sugary foods can still be enjoyed by anyone living with diabetes, so long as they are consumed in moderation as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Healthy eating plays a crucial role in managing both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and you can read more about it on our Healthy Living page

Diabetes is not that serious.

There is no such thing as "mild" diabetes. Diabetes is a serious condition with no known cure. If not managed correctly, diabetes can lead to long-term and potentially life-threatening complications. Most people with living with type 1 and type 2 require medication to control the effects of diabetes, yet fewer than half remember to take them as prescribed. 

A man checking his blood sugar levels.

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How We Can Help at DRWF


Each year we run events for people living with diabetes, ranging from educational workshops and wellness events, to fundraising marathons and group skydives. To find out more about our events and how we support people living with diabetes, please visit our Events Page.


Since 1998 we have provided over £12 million of funding for medical research programmes, with the aim of finding a cure for all types of diabetes. In 2004, we made a significant commitment to Islet Cell Research and Transplant, a programme which focuses on the role of islet cells in diabetes. Read more about our commitment to research by visiting our Research Page.


We rely on our amazing donors who raise the funds that help support people living with diabetes across the UK, as well as funding our vital research programmes. There are lots of ways to raise money to support people living with all forms of diabetes, there’s something for everyone! To discover more about fundraising with us, please visit our Fundraising Page