There are three main types of diabetes:
- Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease where the body's immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. People with type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin and require lifelong insulin injections for survival. The disease can occur at any age, although it mostly occurs in children and young adults. Type 1 diabetes is sometimes referred to as 'juvenile onset diabetes' or 'insulin dependent diabetes'.
- Type 2 diabetes is associated with hereditary factors and lifestyle risk factors including poor diet, insufficient physical activity and being overweight or obese. People with type 2 diabetes 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. Type 2 diabetes occurs mostly in people aged over 40 years old; however, the disease is also becoming increasingly prevalent in younger age groups.
- Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy. The condition usually disappears once the baby is born; however, a history of gestational diabetes increases a woman's risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. The condition may be managed through adopting healthy dietary and exercise habits, although diabetes medication, including insulin, may also be required to manage blood sugar levels.
Source: Department of Health and Ageing (Cth) (Diabetes)