Understanding the Different Types of Diabetes
NOVEMBER 20, 2018
Diabetes is a disease in which the body is unable to properly use and store glucose, a form of sugar. Glucose backs up in the bloodstream and causes a person’s blood glucose level (sometimes called blood sugar level) to rise too high.
There are two major types of diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body completely stops producing any insulin, a hormone that enables the body to use glucose. People with type 1 diabetes must take daily insulin injections to regulate their blood sugar level. This form of diabetes usually develops in children or young adults, but can occur at any age.
Type 2 diabetes results when the body doesn't produce enough insulin and/or is unable to use insulin properly. This form of diabetes usually occurs in people who are over 40, overweight, and have a family history of diabetes, although today it is increasingly occurring in younger people, particularly adolescents.
Discussions of diabetes often include prediabetes. Though prediabetes is not actually diabetes, it is a serious condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Those with pre-diabetes are at much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Learn if you are at-risk for prediabetes.
The experts in BIDMC’s Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, together with Joslin Diabetes Center, provide patient-centered care to treat and manage diabetes. Learn more about the BIDMC services and our team.