Types of diabetes.
This is the least common form mainly affecting children and young adults but it can occur at any age. It is sometimes referred to as juvenile onset diabetes or insulin dependent diabetes. The exact cause is not yet known, but it appears to have a strong family link and cannot be prevented. It has nothing to do with lifestyle, although maintaining a healthy lifestyle is very important in managing the disease.
Without insulin the body burns its own fats as a substitute. Unless sufferers are treated with daily injections of insulin, they may accumulate dangerous chemical substances in their blood from the burning of fat. This can cause a condition known as ketoacidosis. This condition is potentially life threatening if not treated. To stay healthy and alive they will need up to four insulin injections every day of their lives. In addition they must test their blood glucose levels several times daily.
In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas usually makes some insulin but not enough for what your body needs and it does not work effectively. It occurs mostly in people aged over 40 years old, however, the disease is also becoming increasingly prevalent in younger age groups.
This is considerd a lifestyle disease affecting 85–90% of all cases. While adults are usually affected, younger people and even children are now getting this "lifestyle" disease. It is associated with hereditary factors and lifestyle risk factors including poor diet, insufficient physical activity and overweight or obesity and the classic ‘apple shape’ body where extra weight is carried around the waist.
People with this condition may be able to manage their condition through lifestyle changes; however, diabetes medications or insulin injections may also be required to control blood sugar levels. However, over time most people with type 2 diabetes will also need tablets and many will also need insulin. This is just the natural progression of the disease, and taking tablets or insulin as soon as they are required can result in fewer complications in the long-term.
This is not common and it only occurs in pregnant women who have never had diabetes before but who have high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes affects about 4% of all pregnant women. After childbirth the mother may go on to develop type 2 diabetes.