Types of Diabetes

Couple with baby

There are four different types of diabetes:

Type 1

Only 5-10% of the people who have diabetes have type 1 diabetes. The partially understood causes are as follows:

- The insulin producing cells in the pancreas cease to make insulin. This may occur soon after a viral or bacterial infection.

-A less common cause is related to genetics.

-Type 1 may occur without recognizable cause.

- The onset is usually in people under age 35 but can occur at any age. This type of diabetes has a dramatic onset with symptoms of sudden weight loss, extreme fatigue, hunger, thirst, frequent urination, and at times coma. People with type 1 diabetes require insulin injections for the rest of their lives.


Type 2

Ninety to ninety-five percent of the people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. It has a very slow onset of 10 to 30 years. Often there are no symptoms due to the blood sugar not being high enough to cause symptoms. The body continues to produce some insulin but not enough and the insulin produced is sluggish. Insulin resistance, or the body not using the insulin effectively, is the main problem of type 2 diabetes.

Test tubesGestational diabetes (GDM)

GMD appears while a woman is pregnant. This is partly because pregnancy hormones interfere with the action of insulin and partly because when an individual has a tendency for diabetes, pregnancy puts more of a demand upon the body. All pregnant women need to be tested to see if they are at risk of developing GDM. Treatment for GDM consists of diet, exercise, managing stress, monitoring blood sugar levels, and perhaps insulin.


Some types of diabetes can be caused by certain medications or situations where the pancreas is damaged.

Diabetes in a Nutshell