Neonatal Diabetes

This resource will explain what Neonatal Diabetes is. It also explains why it develop and how is diagnosed.


 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 (i.e one 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, but can be caused by delayed or incomplete development of organs in the womb, or can be part of a wider medical condition (syndrome).  20% of people with neonatal diabetes also have some developmental delay eg muscle weakness, learning difficulties or 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 may recurs later on in life, generally during the teenage years.

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

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