There are 4 common forms of diabetes. These are detailed below:
- Prediabetes: This is when your blood sugar is too high, but not high enough for your doctor to diagnose it as diabetes. It can, however, increase your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. More than a third of all people in the United States have prediabetes, though most are unaware of it. Exercising more and losing weight can lower the risk of it progressing.
- Type 1 diabetes: Also known as insulin-dependent diabetes, type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition. It occurs when your body attacks your pancreas with antibodies causing the organ to stop producing insulin. Type 1 diabetes usually appears in adolescence. Most people are born with Type 1 diabetes and do not develop the disease as a result of obesity or other health conditions. Genetics are the most common risk factor for this form of diabetes.
- Type 2 diabetes: With type 2 diabetes, the pancreas usually produces some insulin, but either doesn't produce enough, or the body doesn't use it correctly. About 90% of people who have diabetes have type 2. People who are obese (more than 20% over their target body weight) are at higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Gestational diabetes: Pregnancy often causes some amount of insulin resistance. When your body is unable to adequately manage blood sugar levels as a result of hormone changes during pregnancy, you may develop gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes occurs in about 2%-10% of pregnancies and it usually goes away after birth. However, about 10% of women who have gestational diabetes are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes later on.