Types of diabetes


Prediabetes does not have exact symptoms, but most people who are diagnosed with diabetes go through a stage of prediabetes. People with prediabetes have blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. The only way to detect it is to have blood sugar tested. People with prediabetes can often prevent progression to diabetes by changing their eating habits and getting exercise.1

An estimated 84.1 million Americans aged 18 years or older have prediabetes.3

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes usually shows up in children and young adults, but people of any age can get it. This type of diabetes is characterized by the immune system destroying the pancreas, preventing it from making insulin. This is an immune reaction where the body attacks itself by mistake. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day to stay alive.2

About 5-10% of people with diabetes have type 1.1

Type 2 Diabetes

In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas does not make enough insulin for the body to use, or the body does not use insulin properly, so the sugar in the blood is at high levels. Type 2 diabetes takes many years to develop, and many people with type 2 diabetes may not know they have it, so it is very important to be tested for it. Diabetes is most commonly found in adults, although teenagers and children can also have it. Type 2 diabetes can be avoided or reduced by eating a healthy diet, exercising, and losing weight. People with type 2 diabetes most often take medicine for it and some need to have insulin as well.3

About 90-95% of people with diabetes have type 2, therefore making it the most common type of diabetes.4

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that happens in pregnant women who have never had diabetes. Having gestational diabetes means the baby could be at higher risk for health problems and the mother and/or baby may develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born.5

About 2-10% of pregnant women will get gestational diabetes.5

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