Diabetes > Types of Diabetes > Diabetes Types

Types of Diabetes

There are two major types of diabetes mellitus - Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes. Both result in too much glucose (sugar) in the blood, but the causes of each are different.

Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

Type 1 diabetes is a disease that destroys or damages the beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. It is a less common form of diabetes mellitus affecting around 5 - 15% of diabetics, but can prove fatal unless regular insulin injections are taken, hence why it is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes. People with this type of diabetes must also eat a healthy diet and have regular blood tests to ensure that their blood glucose levels stay balanced.

Type 1 diabetes is also sometimes referred to as juvenile diabetes or early-onset diabetes because it usually develops at a young age. However, it is not always diagnosed in childhood and can occur at a later age.

Causes of Type 1 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes mellitus, accounting for around 90 per cent of all cases of diabetes. It is caused by the body not producing enough insulin or not using what it produces effectively. It is usually diagnosed at a later age than type 1 diabetes mellitus, which is why it is sometimes referred to as maturity onset diabetes.

However it is now also found in young adults and children. This form of diabetes is often, but not always, associated with obesity and lack of exercise.

At an early stage, type 2 diabetes mellitus is controlled using regular exercise and a healthy diet, but as this type of diabetes is a progressive condition many people with type 2 diabetes mellitus eventually require insulin medication to manage their condition. Experts indicate that around 40% of people with type 2 diabetes require regular insulin injections.

Causes of Type 2 Diabetes

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