There are three types of diabetes; Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes were previously known as insulin-dependent diabetes and non-insulin dependent diabetes respectively, however from an etiologically# these terms have become obsolete as contemporary research suggest that the different types of diabetes depend on a wide range of factors.
Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease and occurs when a person?s immune system destroys the insulin-producing Beta cells in the pancreas. Type 1 diabetes is also called 'juvenile-onset diabetes' as the majority of cases appear under the age of 40. Type 1 diabetes account for 10-15% of all cases. Type 1 diabetics must take several insulin injections daily and closely monitor their blood glucose levels.
Type 2 diabetes arises when Beta cells do not produce sufficient levels of insulin or when cells become insulin resistant. Type 2 diabetes is also known as 'late-onset diabetes' and can be triggered by several lifestyle risk such as obesity, inactivity, high blood pressure and a poor diet. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form diabetes affecting 85-90% of all people with the disease. It may be treated by dietary changes, exercise and insulin injection is they are required.
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a non-permanent form of diabetes which is appears during pregnancy. GDM is characterized by carbohydrate intolerance and is diagnosed through an oral glucose intolerance test. Risk factors for GDM are a family history of diabetes, increasing maternal age, obesity and being a member of an ethnic group at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Although, carbohydrate intolerance usually does not continue after delivery, the mother does have a significant risk of developing permanent diabetes whereas the baby is more likely to become obese and impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes later in life.