Did you know there’s more than one type of diabetes? Most people have heard of type 2, type 1 and gestational diabetes; however, there are additional forms of the disease, such as latent autoimmune diabetes (LADA), and maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY).
Here, we’ll discuss the most common types of diabetes and the best practices to treat each one.
This is the most common form of the disease and accounts for nearly 90-95% of cases. In this instance, your body still produces insulin, but does not make enough or use it efficiently. The best treatment options are eating a balanced diet; starting or increasing physical activity; regularly monitoring your blood glucose and taking medication prescribed by your doctor, if needed. Most often found in middle-aged and older adults, younger people can also be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Accounting for about 5% of diabetes cases, type 1 diabetes often begins in childhood, but can occur at any age. In type 1 diabetes, the body produces little or no insulin. Unlike type 2 diabetes where taking insulin may or may not be part of a treatment plan, people living with type 1 diabetes must use insulin to survive.
People with type 1 diabetes manage their diabetes with healthy eating and physical activity, along with using insulin and carefully monitoring blood glucose levels.
Pregnancy is beautiful and can also be taxing on the body. Sometimes, when women aren’t able to produce enough or properly use insulin, they’re diagnosed with diabetes during their pregnancy; this is known as gestational diabetes. The onset of this type of diabetes usually happens around the 24-week period, and the treatment plan generally includes a special meal plan, scheduled light physical activity, regular blood sugar monitoring, and may also require insulin.
Who is most likely at risk?
Now that we’ve discussed the various types of diabetes, let’s take a closer look at the populations, personal habits and family history of those most likely to encounter the disease.
You’re more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you’re:
- Hispanic or Latino
- Black or African American
- American Indian
- Asian (especially South Asian)
- Pacific Islander
Additional factors for type 2 diabetes:
It’s a lot of information, but there’s a lot you can do.
Did you know adults with diabetes are two times more likely to experience a stroke or develop heart disease? That’s why keeping your heart healthy and your blood pressure in check (plus other numbers) are such important priorities.
And, if you are someone living with diabetes or serving as a caregiver for someone else, it may feel overwhelming— but you’re not alone. The first course of action is to establish a treatment plan with your doctor’s help. And while you’re there, don’t forget to discuss how a medication plan can help reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
We’re here to help by providing the most up-to-date information and resources available to combat all types of the disease. Yes, diabetes is a lot … but there is so much you can do to manage the disease and live a happier, healthier life.