The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is not yet known, but we do know that it is not caused by poor diet and lack of activity.
Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease where the body's immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. Genes play a role, so a family history of type 1 diabetes increases the risk. At this stage, nothing can be done to prevent or cure type 1 diabetes.
However, type 2 diabetes results from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The risk is greatly increased if you have high blood pressure, are overweight or obese, do insufficient physical activity or eat a poor diet.
Are you at risk?
You can help delay the onset of or even prevent getting type 2 diabetes by:
Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.
Last reviewed: July 2018