Understanding Different Types of Diabetes

What are the different types of diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin, doesn’t properly use the insulin being produced, or a combination of the two. When this happens, the body is then unable to transport sugar from the blood into the cells, which then leads to high blood sugar levels. Having high blood sugar can lead to a multitude of health issues.

There are three main types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Gestational diabetes

What causes diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system attacks pancreatic beta cells, which are responsible for producing insulin. This damage is permanent and is generally diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults.

It is unclear what causes the immune system to attack these cells, however, it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental influences.

Type 2 diabetes

When type 2 diabetes is present, that means the body does not respond how it should to insulin, which is referred to as insulin resistance. Because the body does not respond to insulin, the pancreas produces more to elicit a reaction. As your pancreas cannot sustain the amount of insulin necessary for a reaction, your blood sugar continues to rise.

Genetics, environmental and lifestyle choices, such as being overweight and/or inactive, increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes can develop during pregnancy in women who don’t already have diabetes. It occurs when the body can’t produce enough insulin during pregnancy.

When a person is pregnant, the body produces more hormones and goes through a multitude of changes like weight gain. When these changes happen, the body doesn’t respond to insulin as it usually would, which is known as insulin resistance.

Though all pregnant women experience some insulin resistance during the later stages of pregnancy, some women start pregnancy with this resistance and are more likely to develop gestational diabetes.

Treatment in Ridgecrest, California

At Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, our team of experienced providers work hard to give the same expert care and consideration that we would give our own family members. Through our Community Wellness Program, we are proud to offer a Diabetes Support Group, which meets the 4th Thursday of each month; as well as the Diabetes Empowerment Education Program™ (DEEP™). For information on either of these groups, please call our Community Outreach office at (760) 446-3551.