Understanding diabetes starts with knowing the different types of diabetes and their key differences. The two most common types are
type 1 and type 2.
Type 1 diabetes
In type 1 diabetes, the body makes little or no insulin because beta cells that make insulin are destroyed by the immune system. So people with type 1 diabetes must take insulin every day. Type 1 diabetes usually occurs in children and young adults but can also appear in older adults.
Type 2 diabetes
In type 2 diabetes, your body may not make enough insulin, it doesn’t respond to insulin properly (insulin resistance), or both. Most people with diabetes in the United States (about 90% to 95%) have type 2. This kind of diabetes usually occurs in people who are older or in those who are overweight. In fact, about 80% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight. However, in recent years, more children and teens are developing type 2 diabetes, most likely because of obesity and inactivity.
Diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes)
Some women may develop diabetes during pregnancy, which is called gestational diabetes. Being diagnosed with gestational diabetes doesn't mean a woman had diabetes before or would continue to have diabetes after giving birth. A woman should follow her health care provider's advice closely during pregnancy.