There are three main types of diabetes, two of which can affect anyone at any age. Many people do not even know that they have a problem until they are diagnosed by their doctor during a routine exam or a visit for another issue.
Type 1 Diabetes is when your body does not make insulin, a hormone that lets your body manage the storage and use of sugar. This type of diabetes is traditionally known as juvenile diabetes because it normally starts in children or young adults but it can actually occur at any age. This form requires insulin treatment.
Type 2 Diabetes is when your body becomes insulin resistant – meaning that it produces enough insulin but your body does not process the insulin correctly or very efficiently. This type of diabetes can also occur at any age. This form can sometimes be manages with diet and exercise but may require insulin maintenance depending on the severity.
The third type is Gestational Diabetes. This only occurs when a woman is pregnant. Women who develop this are typically at a higher rick of developing Type 2 Diabetes within the next decade.
Type 2 diabetes is the largest group and it is estimated that it is more than 90% of all cases. Since this is the most prevalent form and can be treated many times with diet and exercise that is where most of my focus will be.
There are also two types of what is called pre-diabetes or impaired glucose metabolism – Impaired Fasting Glucose and Impaired Glucose Tolerance. I will also focus on these to some extent as they indicate someone who is at risk of developing diabetes if changes in diet and exercise are not made in the near future.
It is estimated that in the next 20 years almost 10% of the US population could have some form of diabetes or pre-diabetes.