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According to the American Diabetes Association, 1.7 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in U.S. adults during 2012. Even if you aren’t one of the millions of people who are diagnosed with diabetes each year, you’re probably aware that there are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational. But how much do you really know about each one? Here, we break down the real differences between type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes 

  • Five to 10 percent of diabetics have type 1 diabetes.
  • Usually occurs during childhood or early adulthood
  • With type 1 diabetes, the pancreas produces little to no insulin.
  • Cannot be prevented
  • Testing your blood sugar multiple times daily is necessary to avoid extremely high or low blood sugar levels.
  • Taking insulin, whether it’s through injections or an insulin pump, is usually enough to control type 1 diabetes.
  • Symptoms may include rapid breathing, dry skin and mouth, excessive thirst, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, fatigue, frequent urination, and blurry vision.

Type 2 Diabetes

  • Ninety percent of diabetics have type 2 diabetes.
  • Usually discovered during adulthood
  • Type 2 diabetes is becoming increasingly common among children.
  • With type 2 diabetes, one of two things happen: 1) The pancreas doesn’t use insulin correctly or 2) The pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain a normal blood sugar level.
  • As type 2 diabetes worsens, the pancreas produces less and less insulin, which is known as insulin deficiency.
  • Can be prevented by developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle
  • Testing your blood sugar levels regularly is necessary.
  • Along with healthy eating and regular exercise, oral medication may be needed to maintain a normal a blood sugar level.
  • Symptoms may include excessive thirst, frequent urination, increased hunger, fatigue, blurred vision, areas of darkened skin, unexplained weight loss, and slow-healing sores and cuts

Gestational Diabetes

  • Usually occurs among pregnant women
  • Usually goes away after the baby is born
  • During pregnancy, the hormones produced can lead to insulin resistance and when the pancreas doesn’t. produce enough insulin, the mother develops gestational diabetes.
  • Overweight or obese women are at higher risk for developing gestational diabetes.
  • Gaining too much weight during pregnancy increases a woman’s chance of developing gestational diabetes.
  • Women who have had gestational diabetes are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes years later.
  • Although mothers with gestational diabetes usually give birth to healthy babies, their children are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
  • In addition to eating healthy and exercising regularly, checking your blood sugar levels, getting regular medical checkups, and taking diabetes medication and insulin shots are crucial steps in treating gestational diabetes.
  • There are usually no symptoms associated with gestational diabetes.
  • Gestational diabetes is usually discovered during pregnancy screenings.


The Difference Between Type 1, Type 2 & Gestational Diabetes  was originally published on

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