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.
Learn more about other pregnancy risks here.