Types of diabetes include Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes and secondary diabetes, which is due to medical conditions, states MedicineNet. Many people suffer from Type 2 diabetes, particularly the elderly.
Type 1 diabetes refers to the failure of the pancreas to produce insulin, notes MedicineNet. The immune system produces anti-glutamic decarboxylase, anti-insulin and anti-islet cell antibodies as well as inflammatory cells that destroy body tissues and beta cells, hindering the manufacture of insulin in the pancreas. Coxsackie or mumps viruses, poisons in the environment and genetics may cause production of the harmful antibodies. Patients, who are normally below 30 years old, must take insulin to live.
In Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas produces insulin that the body fails to use, as fat, muscle and other cells are not sensitive to it, explains MedicineNet. Patients with this disease should take artificial insulin to alleviate symptoms. Beta cells produce less insulin with time, and the liver continues to produce more glucose, increasing sugar in the bloodstream. Genetics, being overweight and not eating properly cause this common disease.
Gestational diabetes is caused by high blood sugar in pregnant women, according to MedicineNet. Hormonal changes are the main cause of this high blood sugar. Pancreas surgery, trauma and acute pancreatitis may cause secondary diabetes.