Types of Diabetes

Diabetes is classified into three categories:
  1. Prediabetes, or borderline diabetes, is a condition in which diabetes symptoms are present, but not to a degree to adequately diagnose for diabetes mellitus.
  2. Type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent)  - characterized by the body’s failure to produce insulin and requires patients to inject insulin. Type 1 is also known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent. It develops when the immune system destroys pancreatic beta cells that produce insulin to regulate blood sugar. This type of disease may represent 5-10 percent of diagnosed cases, and risk factors include autoimmune, genetic and environmental factors.
  3. Type 2 diabetes (non-insulin dependent) which arises when cells fail to use insulin properly and is sometimes combined with an absolute insulin deficiency. Formerly known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes, it may represent for some 90-95 percent of all diagnosed cases. It often begins with insulin resistance, a condition in which the body produces insulin but the cells were not able to use it properly. As the need to increase insulin, the pancreas gradually loses its ability to produce the hormone.
  4. Gestational diabetes predominant amongst pregnant women who have no prior history of diabetes and suddenly develop high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. This condition occurs more frequently among African Americans, Hispanics and American Natives. It is also more common among women who are obese or have a family history of diabetes. During pregnancy, gestational diabetes requires treatment to normalize glucose levels in the blood to avoid complications in infants. After pregnancy, 5 to 10 percent of women with this problem is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Women who have had gestational diabetes have a 20-50 percent probability of getting type 2 diabetes within the next five to ten years.
Gestational Diabetes may later escalate into Type 2 diabetes though often goes away after childbirth.
Both Type 1 and 2 are incurable chronic conditions, but Type 1 can be managed with insulin injection and Type 2 diabetes can be controlled by medications. Patients have a high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes as well as cardiovascular complications.