Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune condition that affects the insulin-producing cells—called beta cells—in the pancreas. People with type 1 must take insulin because the body produces little to none.
Pre-diabetes is a condition in which your blood sugar levels are elevated above normal but aren't high enough to meet the criteria for diabetes. Normal blood sugar is under 100 mg/dL. Pre-diabetes is a blood sugar between 100 and 125. Diabetes is a blood sugar of 126 or higher. People with pre-diabetes usually produce enough insulin, but the body does not respond to the hormone as well as it should—a condition called insulin resistance, which has been linked to obesity and abdominal fat.
In fact, people with pre-diabetes often produce very high levels of insulin—that's what it takes to combat the insulin resistance and get glucose (fuel used for energy) into cells. The condition doesn't always progress to type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle changes can reverse the condition.
Type 2 diabetes is, many times, simply a worsening of pre-diabetes. As with pre-diabetes, a person with type 2 may have a lot insulin circulating in their bloodstream, but his insulin resistance has worsened to a point where even high levels of the hormone can't get enough glucose into cells. And after a while, insulin production itself may diminish. One theory is that the pancreas simply wears out from years of manufacturing the hormone at such a high rate.
Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that women can develop during pregnancy. It usually develops in the second half of pregnancy (doctors typically test for it around the 22nd week of pregnancy) and can put your health as well as the health of the fetus at risk.
Try these 3 key strategies to keep your diabetes under control