Kids Health Info


  • Diabetes happens when someone's body cannot use energy from glucose, which is a type of sugar found in food.

    There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2.

    Type 1 diabetes

    Type 1 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes affecting children and adolescents in Australia. Type 1 diabetes is caused by the body not having enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone which helps glucose go from the body's blood into the body's cells. Most cells rely on glucose for their energy to do their jobs. Insulin also controls the level of glucose in blood. Without insulin, glucose levels will build up in the blood. Type 1 diabetes is treated by replacing the insulin.

    Type 2 diabetes

    Type 2 diabetes rarely occurs during childhood and adolescence. Type 2 diabetes is caused by the body being resistant to insulin. Type 2 diabetes is treated with diet, weight loss and oral medications in the majority of cases.

    Further information

    For further information on diabetes and how to manage it, please head to our website at



    Developed by the RCH Dept of Endocrinology and Diabetes. First published: October 2010

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This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. The authors of these consumer health information handouts have made a considerable effort to ensure the information is accurate, up to date and easy to understand. The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies, information perceived as misleading, or the success of any treatment regimen detailed in these handouts. Information contained in the handouts is updated regularly and therefore you should always check you are referring to the most recent version of the handout. The onus is on you, the user, to ensure that you have downloaded the most up-to-date version of a consumer health information handout.