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The term "diabetes" refers to a number of diseases, the most common being type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. In each, the body does not produce or properly use insulin -- a hormone that is needed to convert sugar starches and other food into the energy we need to live.
- Type 1 diabetes -- In this type of diabetes, the body fails to produce insulin, the hormone that "unlocks" the cells of the body, allowing glucose (sugar) to enter and fuel them. People who have type 1 diabetes must take insulin daily to survive.
- Type 2 diabetes -- This is the most common form of diabetes. It develops when the body cannot produce or properly use insulin. Older people (and minorities) carry the highest risk for type 2, but a growing number of children and young adults are now being diagnosed with it.
- Gestational diabetes -- This type of diabetes occurs during pregnancy and then usually goes away after the baby is born. It's very important to treat gestational diabetes because it can harm the developing fetus. Mothers who experience gestational diabetes are also at greatly increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
- Prediabetes -- This is a condition that occurs when a person's blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.
The different types of diabetes include the following:
- Prediabetes. Prediabetes is a condition that makes it much likelier for an individual to develop full-blown diabetes -- unless key lifestyle changes are made. More than one-third of Americans have prediabetes.
- Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. A small percentage of those with diabetes have this form of the disease. In type 1, the body does not produce insulin.
- Type 2 diabetes. In type 2 diabetes your body is not able to use insulin properly. Initially, your pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it. Eventually, it is unable to keep up and can't make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose at normal levels
There are two types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. In this video, Karon LoCicero, MD, of Memorial Hospital of Tampa, describes the symptoms of each type.
The three most common types of diabetes are type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes.
- Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that typically occurs in childhood or adolescence when the immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta cells. People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin for the rest of their lives.
- Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease. In this type, the pancreas usually produces some insulin but not enough to keep blood sugar levels normal. Without insulin, glucose can’t move from your blood into cells. Thus, high levels of glucose build up in your bloodstream, even as your cells become starved for energy.
To counteract the increasing levels of blood sugar, your pancreas revs up insulin production, flooding your system with insulin. But, just like running an engine without a rest, the beta cells can wear out over time, and insulin levels fall below normal. When this happens, people with type 2 diabetes require insulin to survive.
- Gestational diabetes only occurs during pregnancy. If you have never had diabetes before but have high blood glucose levels during pregnancy, you are said to have gestational diabetes. Medical experts believe the hormones from the placenta may make the mother's insulin less effective.
If left untreated, gestational diabetes could result in problems for the baby, including a higher risk for breathing problems and obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life.
If you're diagnosed with diabetes or experience any symptoms, talk to your healthcare provider as soon as possible to get tested or begin treatment before more serious complications can occur.
The different types of diabetes are:
- Type 1: In type 1 diabetes, the body's immune system attacks and destroys the cells that make insulin. With little or no insulin, glucose accumulates in the blood and can't get to the cells that need it. People with type 1 diabetes need daily insulin injections or doses of insulin from an insulin pump to stay alive. Type 1 diabetes may also be referred to as juvenile-onset diabetes (because it's most often diagnosed in children and young adults) or insulin-dependent diabetes (because it requires insulin).
- Type 2: In type 2 diabetes, either there's not enough insulin to regulate blood sugar or there would be enough but the body's cells have become resistant to it and can't use it properly, or both. Often, type 2 diabetes starts with insulin resistance. The resulting high glucose in the blood stimulates the beta cells in the pancreas to continue producing more insulin until eventually the beta cells can wear out from constant overproduction and can no longer make enough insulin.
You can help prevent -- or manage -- type 2 diabetes by being physically active, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining a healthy weight.
- Gestational diabetes: Diabetes first diagnosed during pregnancy is called gestational diabetes and occurs in about 7 percent of pregnant women. It's usually a temporary condition that goes away after pregnancy, but in some women it can continue even after childbirth. Gestational diabetes increases a woman's risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future.
- Other types of diabetes: Less common types of diabetes are caused by genetic conditions, medications, pancreatic disorders, infections, and other diseases.
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Receiving a diagnosis of diabetes is, in itself, bewildering enough. Not understanding whether you have type 1 or type 2 -- or something in between -- can make that diagnosis even more confusing. Whereas type 1 diabetes was refered to as "juvenile onset" and type 2 as "adult onset," those easy age-based distinctions no longer hold up. Doctors now know that type 1 diagnosis can occur at any age, that there is an increasing number of type 2 diagnoses in children, and that other types of diabetes exist.
Occasionally, our bodies get confused and our immune systems attack our own organs. This is what happens in type 1 diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body makes proteins that attack one's own pancreas. Without a functioning pancreas, a person cannot live unless given an alternative supply of insulin.
Type 2 diabetes is a different condition. Here, the problem lies largely with the insulin receptors. With type 2 diabetes, the pancreas often starts out just fine. It can produce as much insulin as it wants, but the insulin receptors become less sensitive. So glucose has a harder time getting into the cells. When the cells indicate a sugar requirement, the pancreas pumps out more insulin and floods the receptors so that sugar (glucose) can eventually enter the cells. This works for a little while. The cells get the required sugar, and the pancreas seems to do fine, at least in the short run, by producing larger amounts of insulin. However, the high insulin levels actually harm you in the long run.
Diabetes is divided into two major categories: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is associated with complete destruction of the beta cells of the pancreas that manufacture the hormone insulin. Individuals with type 1 diabetes will require lifelong insulin to control blood sugar levels. About 5 to 10 percent of all diabetics are type 1.
In type 2 diabetes insulin levels are typically elevated, indicating a loss of sensitivity to insulin by the cells of the body. Approximately 90 percent of individuals categorized as having type 2 diabetes are obese. Obesity greatly reduces the sensitivity of cells to the hormone insulin.
Prediabetes is a condition that occurs when a person's blood glucose levels are higher than normal (>101 mg/dL), but not high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes (>126 mg/dL). There are almost as many people in the United States with prediabetes (about 16 million) as there are with type 2 diabetes (18 million).
There are two types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1, once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin, a hormone needed to allow sugar (glucose) to enter cells to produce energy. Type 2 diabetes, which is far more common, occurs when the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin or doesn't make enough insulin.
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The three main types of diabetes are:
- Type 1 diabetes
- Type 2 diabetes
- Gestational diabetes
Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose (blood sugar) levels are above normal. There are two main types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is caused by a problem with the body's defense system, called the immune system. This form of diabetes usually starts in childhood or adolescence. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. It starts most often in adulthood.
This information is based on source information from the National Women's Health Information Center.
Type 1 diabetes, which was previously called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or juvenile-onset diabetes, may account for 5% to 10% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, which was previously called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult-onset diabetes, may account for about 90% to 95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that only pregnant women get. If not treated, it can cause problems for mothers and babies. Gestational diabetes develops in 2% to 5% of all pregnancies and usually disappears when a pregnancy is over but increases the risk of type 2 diabetes later. Other specific types of diabetes resulting from specific genetic syndromes, surgery, drugs, malnutrition, infections, and other illnesses may account for 1% to 2% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.
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In a nutshell, diabetes is a variety of conditions that make it hard for your body to deal with sugar. There are four types of diabetes. In the medical world we define them as:
- Type 1 diabetes - an autoimmune disorder, in which the body’s immune system attacks and kills off the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas.
- Type 1.5 - also called LADA, which stands for Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults.
- Type 2 - the most common kind of diabetes in the world.
- Gestational Diabetes - which strikes women who are pregnant.
For what it is worth, doctors also talk about type 3; which is really just caring for someone with diabetes.
Diabetes has two main forms: type 1 and type 2.
Type 2 is the most common. About 90 percent to 95 percent of Americans diagnosed with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. It most often develops in middle-aged and older adults. It’s often linked with being overweight, obesity and physical inactivity.
Type 2 diabetes develops when the body doesn’t make enough insulin and doesn’t efficiently use the insulin it makes (insulin resistance).
Type 1, or juvenile diabetes, usually starts early in life. It results from the body’s failure to produce insulin. People with it must take insulin each day to regulate levels of blood glucose (sugar).
There are four types of diabetes. In this video, Carole Radney, RN, of Coliseum Medical Centers, describes each type of the disease.
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.