Types of Diabetes

Diabetes is more properly called “Diabetes Mellitus”, its medical name. There are two main types of Diabetes Mellitus, which are called Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes. But there are various other less common forms, and there are also subtypes of those too main types too.

Main Types of Diabetes: Here are some of the main types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 Diabetes: this is also called Juvenile Diabetes, or Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM). It is the less common form, typically affecting teenagers, but with an age rate from infants up to young adults. The prevalence is about 0.5%, i.e. about 1 in 200 people.
  • Type 2 Diabetes: this is the main type of diabetes, also known as “Adult Diabetes” or “Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM)”. It most commonly affects people in their 40’s or 50’s, but can also affect teens and younger adults (it is very unlikely in younger children). This type of diabetes affects close to 4% of the population, which means 1 in 25 people, although most of them don’t get it until their later years.
  • Pre-Diabetes: this is a mild form of Type 2 Diabetes, which is also known as Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT). Its symptoms are usually so mild that people are unaware of it.
  • Gestational diabetes. A type of diabetes that occurs in pregnant women. It is related to Type 2 Diabetes, but fortunately this type of diabetes usually disappears after the baby is born. The baby is not born with diabetes, and the mother should recover from diabetes (although it is more likely for the mother to get Type 2 Diabetes later in life).

Less Common Types of Diabetes: There are various less common and rare types of diabetes.

  • MODY Diabetes. A less common and less-known form of diabetes with a genetic basis.
  • Hemochromatosis-related Diabetes. This is a form of diabetes due to pancreas damage from the iron overload disease called Hemochromatosis. Read more about: Hemochromatosis.
  • Secondary Diabetes. This refers to diabetes where there is an underlying disease cause such as a pancreas disorder; read more about Misdiagnosis of Diabetes.
  • Diabetes Insipidus. This is not a type of Diabetes Mellitus. It has a similar name, even starting with the same word “diabetes” but it is actually not related to the common type of diabetes (Diabetes Mellitus). Diabetes Insipidus is a disorder of the pituitary gland and the kidneys. Its hallmark symptom is chronic urination where the urine is clear and without sugar (i.e. “insipid”). It is not related to sugar or blood glucose levels. Misdiagnosis between Diabetes Insipidus and Diabetes Mellitus is very unlikely.

Subtypes of Type 2 Diabetes: There are various types of Type 2 Diabetes!



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There are three main forms of diabetes:

  • Type 1, in which the body does not make enough insulin
  • Type 2, in which the body does not make enough insulin or it doesn’t use the insulin properly
  • Gestational (pronounced je-STEY-shuhn-ul), which occurs only during pregnancy

Source: NICHD (NIH)1

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Diabetes is generally divided into three categories:

Source: NICHD (NIH)2

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Many forms of diabetes exist. The 3 common types of DM are:

Source: Healthy People (DHHS)3

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In 1997, the WHO issued a new recommendation for the diagnosis and classification of Diabetes Mellitus (DM), according to which the following types of DM are distinguished:

  • Type 1 encompasses diabetes cases with absolute insulin deficiency, triggered by a destruction of beta cells (pancreas islet cells which normally produce insulin). Type 1 is classified as type 1a (immune-mediated diabetes), in which DM is stimulated by a resistance reaction of the immune system, e.g. to viral infections, and type 1b (idiopathic diabetes), which occurs by itself and is not a consequence of other diseases.
  • Type 2 diabetes (T2D) denotes all forms of diabetes with relative insulin deficiency, which can be caused by insulin resistance or secretory defects. The former classification of type 2a (normal weight) and 2b (overweight) is no longer valid. Type 2 diabetes occurs far more often than type 1 diabetes: according to the European Health Report 2002 of the WHO, between 85 and 95% of diabetics suffer from T2D.
  • Type 3 diabetes comprises all other specific forms, which occur comparatively rarely: 3A: genetic defects of the beta cells; 3 B: genetic defects in insulin action; 3 C: diseases of the pancreas; 3 D: diseases caused by hormone disorders; 3 E: DM induced by chemicals or drugs; 3 F: DM caused by infections; and 3 H: other genetic syndromes sometimes associated with diabetes
  • Type 4 is gestational diabetes (GDM).

Source: EC (EU)4

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What are the types of diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes, which was previously called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or juvenile-onset diabetes, may account for about 5% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes, which was previously called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult-onset diabetes, may account for about 90% to 95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that only pregnant women get. If not treated, it can cause problems for mothers and babies.

Gestational diabetes develops in 2% to 10% of all pregnancies but usually disappears when a pregnancy is over.

Other specific types of diabetes resulting from specific genetic syndromes, surgery, drugs, malnutrition, infections, and other illnesses may account for 1% to 5% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.

Source: CDC5

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Characteristics of Monogenic Forms of Diabetes

Neonatal Diabetes Mellitus (NDM)

How Common: Rare; occurs in about one of every 100,000 to 500,000 live births

Permanent Neonatal Diabetes Mellitus (PNDM)

How Common: 50% of all cases of NDM

Transient Neonatal Diabetes Mellitus (TNDM)

How Common: 50% of all cases of NDM

Maturity-onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY)

How Common: 1 to 5% of all cases of diabetes in the United States

Source: NIDDK (NIH)6

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What are the different types of diabetes?

The most common types of diabetes are type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes

If you have type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. Your immune system attacks and destroys the cells in your pancreas that make insulin. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, although it can appear at any age. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day to stay alive.

Type 2 diabetes

If you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not make or use insulin well. You can develop type 2 diabetes at any age, even during childhood. However, this type of diabetes occurs most often in middle-aged and older people. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes develops in some women when they are pregnant. Most of the time, this type of diabetes goes away after the baby is born. However, if you’ve had gestational diabetes, you have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Sometimes diabetes diagnosed during pregnancy is actually type 2 diabetes.

Other types of diabetes

Less common types include monogenic diabetes, which is an inherited form of diabetes, and cystic fibrosis-related diabetes .

Source: NIDDK (NIH)7

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Three main types of diabetes affect Australians - type 1 (previously known as insulin-dependent diabetes), type 2 (previously known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes) and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

Source: Queensland Health8

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Types of Diabetes

There are two main kinds of diabetes.

  • Type 1 diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body makes little or no insulin. Although adults can develop this type of diabetes, it occurs most often in children and young adults.
  • Type 2 diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, the body makes insulin but doesn’t use it the right way. It is the most common kind of diabetes. It occurs most often in middle-aged and older adults, but it can also affect children. Your chance of getting type 2 diabetes is higher if you are overweight, inactive, or have a family history of diabetes.

Source: NIA (NIH)9

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What are the different types of diabetes?

The three main types of diabetes are:

  • Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, meaning the body's immune (defense) system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. If you have type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin, so you must take insulin every day.
  • Type 2 diabetes. This is the most common type of diabetes. You can get type 2 diabetes at any age, even during childhood. With type 2 diabetes, your body does not make enough insulin or is not able to use its own insulin correctly. When this happens, blood glucose levels rise.
  • Gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that happens only during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes can cause health problems for the baby and the mother if not controlled. Although gestational diabetes goes away after your baby is born, having diabetes during pregnancy raises your risk for type 2 diabetes later on.2 Learn more about gestational diabetes at the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse.

Source: OWH (DHHS)10

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Diabetes means that your blood glucose (blood sugar) is too high. There are two main types of diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes

  • the body does not make insulin. Insulin helps the body use glucose from food for energy. People with type 1 need to take insulin every day.

Type 2 diabetes

  • the body does not make or use insulin well. People with type 2 often need to take pills and or insulin. Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes.

Gestational diabetes

  • may occur when a woman is pregnant. Gestational diabetes raises her risk of getting another type of diabetes, mostly type 2, for the rest of her life. It also raises her child's risk of being overweight and getting diabetes.

Source: MedLinePlus Magazine (NIH)11

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Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar level to become too high.

There are two main types of diabetes:

  • type 1 diabetes - where the body's immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin
  • type 2 diabetes - where the body doesn't produce enough insulin, or the body's cells don't react to insulin
  • Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1. In the UK, around 90% of all adults with diabetes have type 2.

During pregnancy, some women have such high levels of blood glucose that their body is unable to produce enough insulin to absorb it all. This is known as gestational diabetes.

Source: NHS Choices UK12

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There are two main types of diabetes:

type 1 - where the pancreas doesn't produce any insulin

type 2 - where the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin or the body's cells don't react to insulin

These pages are about type 1 diabetes. Other types of diabetes are covered separately (read about type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes, which affects some women during pregnancy).

Source: NHS Choices UK13

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Types of the condition may include:14 Types of Diabetes:


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Types of this condition may include:15 Types of Diabetes:


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Types of this condition:16 Types of Diabetes:


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Types of this condition may include:17

Types of Diabetes:


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Types may include:18

Specific Types of Diabetes

Polygenic Diabetes: The most common forms of diabetes, type 1 and type 2, are polygenic, meaning the risk of developing these forms of diabetes is related to multiple genes. Environmental factors, such as obesity in the case of type 2 diabetes, also play a part in the development of polygenic forms of diabetes. Polygenic forms of diabetes often run in families. Doctors diagnose polygenic forms of diabetes by testing blood glucose in individuals with risk factors or symptoms of diabetes.

Source: NIDDK (NIH)19

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Monogenic Diabetes: Monogenic Forms of Diabetes

Some rare forms of diabetes result from mutations in a single gene and are called monogenic. Monogenic forms of diabetes account for about 1 to 5 percent of all cases of diabetes in young people. In most cases of monogenic diabetes, the gene mutation is inherited; in the remaining cases the gene mutation develops spontaneously. Most mutations in monogenic diabetes reduce the body's ability to produce insulin, a protein produced in the pancreas that helps the body use glucose for energy.

Neonatal diabetes mellitus (NDM) and maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY) are the two main forms of monogenic diabetes. MODY is much more common than NDM. NDM first occurs in newborns and young infants; MODY usually first occurs in children or adolescents but may be mild and not detected until adulthood.

Source: NIDDK (NIH)20

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Neonatal diabetes mellitus: NDM is a monogenic form of diabetes that occurs in the first 6 months of life.

Source: NIDDK (NIH)21

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MODY Diabetes: What is maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY)?

MODY is a monogenic form of diabetes that usually first occurs during adolescence or early adulthood. However, MODY sometimes remains undiagnosed until later in life.

Source: NIDDK (NIH)22

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Cystic fibrosis-related diabetes: Diabetes that often requires different treatment from other forms is common.

Source: MedLinePlus Magazine (NIH)23

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References

  1. Source: NICHD (NIH): nichd.nih.gov/ health/ topics/ diabetes/ Pages/ default.aspx
  2. Source: NICHD (NIH): nichd.nih.gov/ health/ topics/ diabetes/ conditioninfo/ Pages/ default.aspx
  3. Source: Healthy People (DHHS): healthypeople.gov/ 2020/ topics-objectives/ topic/ diabetes
  4. Source: EC (EU): ec.europa.eu/ health/ major_chronic_diseases/ diseases/ diabetes_en
  5. Source: CDC: cdc.gov/ diabetes/ basics/ diabetes.html
  6. Source: NIDDK (NIH): niddk.nih.gov/ health-information/ diabetes/ overview/ what-is-diabetes/ monogenic-neonatal-mellitus-mody
  7. Source: NIDDK (NIH): niddk.nih.gov/ health-information/ diabetes/ overview/ what-is-diabetes
  8. Source: Queensland Health: conditions.health.qld.gov.au/ HealthCondition/ condition/ 8/ 77/ 286/ diabetes
  9. Source: NIA (NIH): nia.nih.gov/ health/ diabetes-older-people
  10. Source: OWH (DHHS): womenshealth.gov/ a-z-topics/ diabetes
  11. Source: MedLinePlus Magazine (NIH): medlineplus.gov/ magazine/ issues/ fall14/ articles/ fall14pg14.html
  12. Source: NHS Choices UK: nhs.uk/ conditions/ Diabetes/ 
  13. Source: NHS Choices UK: nhs.uk/ conditions/ type-1-diabetes/ 
  14. Source: Human Phenotype Ontology
  15. Source: Disease Ontology
  16. Source: Monarch Initiative
  17. Source: NCI Thesaurus
  18. Source: MeSH (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
  19. Source: NIDDK (NIH): niddk.nih.gov/ health-information/ diabetes/ overview/ what-is-diabetes/ monogenic-neonatal-mellitus-mody
  20. ibid.
  21. ibid.
  22. ibid.
  23. Source: MedLinePlus Magazine (NIH): medlineplus.gov/ magazine/ issues/ fall12/ articles/ fall12pg6-7.html

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.