There is no consensus between the health experts about the types of diabetes and thus some claim there are only two basic types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2, while the others have also defined the third type – the gestational diabetes which affects only pregnant women and is similar to type 2 diabetes in many aspects. In addition to the mentioned types sometimes also occurs the term prediabetes which refers to the increased blood sugar levels but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Prediabetes commonly leads to type 2 diabetes but if treated early it can be reversed sometimes even without use of medications.
Type 1 diabetes which most often affects people younger than 35 years of age, most commonly between 10 and 16 years of age is the severest type of diabetes and is fatal if not treated. It is characterized by the body’s failure to produce insulin. Its treatment bases on regular insulin injections and for that reason it is often also referred as insulin-dependent diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes and usually affects people older than 40 years of age. It develops gradually and is commonly caused by improper use of insulin by the cells although type 2 diabetes can be also caused by insulin deficiency. At greater risk of type 2 diabetes are mostly people with overweight problems, high blood pressure, inadequate physical activity, family history of diabetes and women who developed gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes greatly resembles type 2 diabetes but it exclusively affects pregnant women. After delivery it usually improves or disappears but women with gestational diabetes history are in greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.