Types of Diabetes

Types of Diabetes


Prediabetes is a condition where your blood sugar levels are higher than normal. You may not have symptoms now, but prediabetes can develop into type 2 diabetes within a few years. This is a critical time to make lifestyle changes and manage your health.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and it has reached epidemic proportions. With type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin, or doesn’t use it the right way, so your body doesn’t receive the energy it needs. This is also called insulin resistance.

People who are overweight and don’t exercise are at the biggest risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

There is no cure for type 1 diabetes, but it can be successfully managed so that you can live a normal life. Formerly called “juvenile diabetes,” type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease mostly diagnosed in children and young adults. It means that your body does not produce insulin, which your body needs to convert sugar from the food you eat into energy for daily living.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes can develop in pregnant women. Because there are usually no symptoms, it’s important for women to have a glucose-screening test between week 24 and 29 of pregnancy. It’s also important to start treatment quickly in order to keep the baby healthy and prevent a difficult birth.

Gestational diabetes can be controlled with good nutrition, exercise and medication. Blood sugar does usually return to normal after pregnancy, but women who have had gestational diabetes are at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Who Is At Risk for Diabetes?

Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes

  • Anyone who is overweight and 45 or older
  • People who have a family history of diabetes
  • Women who have had gestational diabetes while pregnant
  • African Americans
  • Native Americans
  • Hispanics
  • Asian Americans
  • Pacific Islanders

Type 1 Diabetes

  • Caucasians are more susceptible
  • Anyone with a family history of diabetes
  • Anyone with an autoimmune disease
  • Exposure to certain viruses such as Epstein-Barr and mumps

You May Not Have Symptoms, So Get Tested

Simple lab tests can determine if you are at risk. Your doctor will probably start by measuring the amount of glucose in your blood with a fasting glucose test, which means you cannot eat or drink eight hours before the test. For this reason, it’s easier to schedule this lab test for first thing in the morning. Another test, called the hemoglobin A1c, may be used to determine your blood glucose level as an average over the last few months.