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Neonatal Diabetes


Neonatal diabetes is a form of diabetes that is diagnosed under the age of nine months. It's a different type of diabetes than the more common Type 1 diabetes as it's not an autoimmune condition where the body has destroyed its insulin producing cells.

Neonatal diabetes is usually caused by a change in one of the genes that affects insulin production. This means that level of blood glucose (sugar) in the body rise very high, 20 per cent of people with neonatal diabetes also have some developmental delay eg muscle weakness, learning difficulties and epilepsy.

Neonatal diabetes is very rare; there are two types of neonatal diabetes - transient and permanent. As the name suggests, transient neonatal diabetes doesn't last forever and usually resolves before the age of 12 months. But it usually recurs later on in life, generally during the teenage years.

Around 50 per cent of people with neonatal diabetes don't need insulin and can be treated with oral medication instead.


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