An Overview of the Different Types of Diabetes
A graduate of the Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Rex Mahnensmith completed his postdoctoral training in internal medicine at Yale-New Haven Medical Center. Dr. Rex Mahnensmith provides primary care services in Waterbury, Connecticut, through StayWell Health Center, which he also leads as its chief medical officer. Working with a variety of patients, he focuses on preventive medicine, as well as the maintenance of chronic conditions like diabetes.
People with diabetes are unable to produce insulin or use it properly. Insulin helps regulate the amount of glucose present in the bloodstream, and high levels can damage nerves, blood vessels, organs, and more.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. The immune system kills beta cells in the pancreas, which causes little or no insulin to be released into the bloodstream. This type of diabetes accounts for about 5 to 10 percent of all diabetes cases, and most people develop it in childhood. Treatment involves insulin administration and careful meal planning.
Type 2 diabetes develops when the body either becomes incapable of using produced insulin properly or cannot produce adequate amounts of insulin. While children can develop type 2 diabetes, it typically occurs in adults. Insulin may be necessary for some people with type 2 diabetes, but exercise and meal planning can manage milder cases.
A third type of diabetes is called gestational diabetes, which is a temporary condition that affects about 2 to 4 percent of pregnancies.