5% of people with Diabetes have Type 1 Diabetes. This type of Diabetes is usually diagnosed in childhood, yet many times it is diagnosed in adults, even in adults over the age of 50. People with Type 1 Diabetes take insulin for treatment since their beta cells (the cells that make insulin) no longer produce insulin due to auto-immune destruction. People with Type 1 Diabetes take insulin by injection or via an insulin pump. People with Type 1 Diabetes can lead a full, healthy life with proper management. Successful treatment of Type 1 Diabetes has been shown to prevent or delay complications tied to Diabetes.
95% of people with Diabetes have Type 2 Diabetes. In 2015, it was estimated that 1 in 9 adults had this type of Diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes in usually diagnosed in the adult years though it can be seen in (usually overweight and sedentary) children. In Type 2 Diabetes, the cells that make insulin, beta cells, don’t produce sufficient amounts and there is also resistance to the effect of insulin on the body. Many people with Type 2 Diabetes can improve their blood sugar with weight loss and exercise alone. Others require treatments, which range from pills to injections of insulin and other injected medications. Successful treatment of Type 2 Diabetes has been shown to prevent or delay complications of Diabetes. People with Type 2 Diabetes are also at higher risk for heart diseases and treating their heart disease risk factors is important.
In 2015, it was estimated that 1 out of 3 adults has Pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes can be diagnosed by checking a fasting blood sugar or by measuring the hemoglobin A1c (a 3-month average of blood sugar). People who are overweight or who have a family history of Diabetes are at high risk for Pre-diabetes (and for Diabetes). Most people with Pre-diabetes don’t know that they have this condition and it can only be diagnosed with a blood test. 50% of people with Pre-diabetes develop overt Diabetes in 10 years unless they are treated. The primary treatment of Pre-diabetes is exercise and weight loss. A 7% weight loss and the equivalent of 30 minutes of walking for 5 days of the week haven been shown to reduce progression of Pre-diabetes to Diabetes by nearly 60%. A medication, Metformin, is also frequently used to treat Pre-diabetes.
Gestational Diabetes (GDM) is a frequent complication of Diabetes. Gestational Diabetes is the development of elevated blood sugar in pregnancy. Certain hormones produced by the placenta can lead to elevated blood sugar later in pregnancy. This problem can be diagnosed by doing a glucose tolerance test near the end of the second trimester. If untreated, GDM, can lead to excessive fetal weight gain and prematurity. GDM can be treated with dietary modifications and many times, insulin.