- Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition where the body attacks the beta cells in the pancreas that make insulin. The result is that the body does not produce any insulin (or very little) and cannot control blood glucose levels. About 10% of diagnosed diabetics have type 1 diabetes, it usually occurs in childhood, and it is controlled with insulin.
- Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, but can usually be prevented with healthy lifestyle choices. In type 2 diabetes, either the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the cells in the body don’t recognize the insulin that is present. This results in high blood glucose. Type 2 diabetes usually occurs in adulthood and can often be effectively managed through weight loss, diet, and exercise.
- Pre-diabetes is also known as impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). It occurs when blood glucose is higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered diabetes. Pre-diabetes can often lead to type 2 diabetes, but diet and lifestyle changes can prevent the disease progression.
- Gestational diabetes occurs when a pregnant woman has high levels of blood glucose, due to not enough insulin. A pregnant woman’s insulin needs are two to three times that of normal. Gestational diabetes is only temporary and usually disappears after pregnancy, but is associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future.