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Types of Diabetes - What type of diabetes do I have?

Know Your Type

There are several types of diabetes, but the two main types are type 1 and type 2. In both types there is an insulin problem, but for different reasons.

Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes

  • The pancreas makes very little or no insulin because the body’s immune system mistakenly destroys the cells that make insulin.
  • Since the body cannot make insulin, those with type 1 diabetes must take insulin throughout each day.
  • Only 5 to 10 percent of people with diabetes have type 1.
  • Type 1 diabetes usually occurs in children, teens, or young adults, but can happen at any age.

Type 2 diabetes

  • The body cannot use insulin well (insulin resistance).
  • Insulin resistance causes a higher demand for insulin.
  • Higher insulin demand burns out the cells that make insulin, so not enough insulin can be made (beta cell burnout).
  • 90 to 95 percent of people with diabetes have type 2.
  • Type 2 diabetes usually occurs after age 30, but can happen at any age.

If you have been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you can learn to manage your condition and live a long, healthy, happy life. Even young children can learn to self-manage diabetes.  Enroll in our fun, interactive and informative “Tips and Tools for a Sweet Lifeclass. Learn how the foods and activities you enjoy can still be a part of your life without sacrificing diabetes control. It also a good idea to monitor your A1C.


Gestational Diabetes Risk Factors

  • Age 25 or older
  • Have a parent who has diabetes
  • Are overweight, especially if your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or higher
  • Have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Have a pre-existing medical condition that makes diabetes likely, such as glucose intolerance
  • Take medications like glucocorticoids (for asthma or an autoimmune disease), or beta-blockers (for high blood pressure or a rapid heart rate)
  • Personal history of gestational diabetes
  • Previously had a larger than average baby (9lbs+)
  • African American, Native American, Asian American, Hispanic, or Pacific Islander descent


During pregnancy, usually at around 24-28 weeks or later many women learn that they have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. A diagnosis of gestational diabetes does not mean that you had diabetes before you conceived, or that you will have diabetes after giving birth. But it’s important to follow your doctor’s advice regarding blood glucose (blood sugar) levels while you’re pregnant, so you and your baby both remain healthy

Moms-to-be who have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes can lower risk of diabetes for themselves and baby.  We offer an interactive 2-hour gestational diabetes class weekly; most insurance plans offer reimbursement or full coverage options for this course. Topics covered include monitoring blood sugar, blood sugar goals, risks for mother and baby, healthy eating and carb awareness, portion control, and preventing Type 2 diabetes. Learn more about our upcoming sessions, or for more information, please call (480) 728-3535.