Types of Diabetes
There are three main types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. A person with this condition must take insulin daily in order to live.
The most common type of diabetes is type 2 diabetes (formerly known as adult-onset diabetes). With this condition, the pancreas is usually producing enough insulin, but for unknown reasons, the body cannot use the insulin effectively -- this is called insulin resistance. Roughly 80 percent of people with this disease are overweight. Though it used to occur primarily in adults, type 2 diabetes is now increasingly being diagnosed in children and adolescents.
Gestational diabetes occurs only during pregnancy. If you have had gestational diabetes, you have a 20 percent to 50 percent chance of developing type 2 diabetes within 5 to 10 years.
(Click Diabetes Types to learn more about the differences between type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. This article covers symptoms, risk factors, and more.)