The three main types of diabetes


Diabetes is recognised as the world’s fastest growing chronic condition. In Australia, 280 individuals develop diabetes every day.

Having diabetes not only affects the way you live your day-to-day life but can also increase your risk for a number of other health conditions, if left untreated.

It is important to understand the difference between the 3 types of diabetes as they all require daily care and management

Type 1 Diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes, is an auto-immune condition in which the pancreas doesn’t produce insulin as the insulin producing cells are destroyed by the immune system. Insulin is a hormone that allows your body to use glucose as energy

People with type 1 diabetes require insulin injections every day to replace the insulin that the body cannot produce. They must also test their blood glucose levels several times throughout the day. To ensure there blood glucose levels don’t go to high or too low.

To learn more about type 1 diabetes, visit this link.

Type 2 Diabetes:

Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, representing 85 to 90 per cent of all diabetes cases in Australia. This is a progressive condition in which your body becomes resistant to the normal effects of insulin and becomes ineffective in managing blood glucose levels. The pancreas then starts to overproduce insulin to compensate and wears out the insulin producing cells overtime.

Type 2 diabetes can be managed with healthy eating, regular physical activity and sometimes medication.

The risk of developing diabetes increases with age and family history. Several lifestyle modifiable factors such as, increase in weight, insufficient physical activity and poor diet can all increase the risk of developing diabetes.

Please use this tool to check your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

For more information on type 2 diabetes, visit this link.

Gestational Diabetes:

Gestational diabetes only occurs during pregnancy and is the fastest growing type of diabetes in Australia. Gestational diabetes is caused by hormones from the placenta that block the action of insulin.  Because of this, the need for insulin in pregnancy is 2 to 3 times higher than normal. In some cases, the body is unable to cope with these extra demands and thus resulting in gestational diabetes.

All pregnant women should be tested for gestational diabetes at 24-28 weeks of pregnancy (except those who already have diabetes). Women who have high  risk factors for diabetes should be tested earlier in their pregnancy.

When the pregnancy is over and blood glucose levels usually return to normal, gestational diabetes disappears. However, this increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life for both the women and baby.

Women who have had Gestational Diabetes should be checked regularly for Type 2 diabetes.

To learn more about gestational diabetes, visit this link.

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