The three main types of diabetes include Type 1, Type 2 and gestational, according to The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Diabetes can develop in both men and women at any age.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body's immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the beta cells in the pancreas, explains the Canadian Diabetes Association. As a result, the pancreas releases no or very little insulin into the body. Excess sugar builds up in the bloodstream instead of being utilized as energy. About 5 to 10 percent of all diabetic patients suffer from Type 1 diabetes. This form of diabetes generally develops during childhood or adolescence, but it can also occur in adulthood.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body is unable to make enough insulin or to use the insulin it produces, leading to excess buildup of sugar in the blood, states the Canadian Diabetes Association. About 90 percent of people suffering from diabetes have Type 2 diabetes. It mostly affects adults, but children can also develop it.
Gestational diabetes is a temporary condition that occurs during pregnancy, advises the Canadian Diabetes Association. Pregnant women make hormones that can lead to insulin resistance, and if the pancreas doesn't make enough insulin during pregnancy, a woman can develop gestational diabetes. Overweight or obese women have a higher chance of developing this condition, notes The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. More often than not, gestational diabetes disappears once the baby is born; however, women who have had gestational diabetes are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes later on in life, and babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.