There are many types of diabetes, and the prevalence of all types is increasing. The most common are Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational Diabetes.
In Type 1 Diabetes, which accounts for about 10% of all cases, the body is unable to produce enough insulin for the body’s needs due to an auto-immune reaction that damages the pancreas. Symptoms often develop over a short period of time and are very noticeable. Daily insulin injections or an insulin pump are required to provide the body the insulin it requires to function well.
Type 2 Diabetes, which accounts for about 85% of all cases, develops over time when the body becomes resistant to the normal effects of insulin and/or gradually loses the capacity to produce enough insulin in the pancreas. The onset of type 2 diabetes is slower than type 1, and the symptoms more subtle. Modifiable risk factors such as lack of exercise, poor diet, and smoking are all associated with increased risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
Gestational Diabetes occurs during pregnancy. Most women will no longer have diabetes after the baby is born. However, some women will continue to have high blood glucose levels after delivery. Gestational diabetes is the fastest growing type of diabetes in Australia, with between 12% and 14% of pregnant women developing gestational diabetes (usually around 24 to 28 weeks). All pregnant women should be tested for gestational diabetes.