All types of diabetes involve the interaction of blood sugar (glucose) and insulin, a hormone which allows your body to use the glucose, but there are some differences:
- Type 1. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. It most commonly develops in children and teens. In type 1 diabetes, your own immune system destroys cells in your pancreas, so little if any insulin is made. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin daily, using shots or a pump.
- Type 2. Type 2 diabetes is by far the most common form and usually develops in adults. But as more children and teens become overweight, the incidence of type 2 diabetes is increasing. Type 2 occurs when your body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin or doesn't make enough insulin. Some people can manage type 2 diabetes with diet and exercise, but many people need to use medication or insulin.
- Gestational. Gestational diabetes occurs only during pregnancy and usually only lasts until your baby is born. Like other forms of diabetes, gestational diabetes can cause high blood sugar levels. It can cause health problems for you and especially for your unborn baby. Some women can manage gestational diabetes with diet and exercise, but some will need medication as well.
Read more about type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes.