The name “diabetes” refers to a group of diseases that change the way your body processes and uses glucose (sugar). When you have diabetes, your blood glucose level is too high. When left untreated, high blood sugar increases the risk for health complications such as:
- Kidney damage
- Nerve damage
- Cardiovascular disease
- Heart attack
To prevent complications like this, keep your diabetes under control. What types of diabetes are there?
There are several types of diabetes, including:
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition that’s often diagnosed during childhood. If you have type 1 diabetes, your pancreas produces very little insulin or none at all.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes causes your cells to become insulin resistant, allowing glucose to build up in your bloodstream. Type 2 diabetes doesn’t have an exact known cause, but you’re at a much higher risk if you’re overweight, don’t exercise, are older, and/or have a family history of type 2 diabetes.
Prediabetes is the precursor to type 2 diabetes, and it starts the same way. The only difference between the two is the fact that your blood sugar isn’t yet high enough for your condition to be categorized as diabetes.
Some pregnant women experience temporary diabetes symptoms called gestational diabetes. During pregnancy, the body produces additional hormones, increasing the risk of insulin resistance. Typically, the condition resolves after you give birth.