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Whittington Health NHSUCL

Are there other types of diabetes?


Key fact:
Each type of diabetes is a long-term condition that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot properly use the insulin it produces.

This website is specifically for those people with type 2 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes usually begins in childhood. This develops when insulin-producing cells have been destroyed and the body is unable to produce any insulin. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin injections. The cause of type 1 diabetes is not fully understood. At the moment there is no known cure for type 1 diabetes. However, there are new therapies being developed such as transplants and pumps.

Gestational diabetes (diabetes in pregnancy)

Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy. In most cases, this occurs in the second half of pregnancy and disappears after the baby is born. However, women who have gestational diabetes are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than women who have not had gestational diabetes. Women who have had gestational diabetes should attend an annual HbA1c screening. 

Impaired glucose regulation (IGR)

Impaired glucose regulation (IGR) is also called Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), impaired fasting glycaemia (IFG), high risk for diabetes or pre-diabetes. It occurs when blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to have diabetes. People with IGR are at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Diabetes can be delayed and in some cases prevented in someone with IGR by making positive lifestyle changes.

Maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY)

This is a group of genetic conditions which cause early onset of diabetes, generally before the age of 40. It affects approximately 1 in 100 people with diabetes and initially seems to behave like type 2 diabetes.

It is more likely to be the cause of diabetes in people who are diagnosed very young or who have a very strong family history of diabetes. Genetic tests can be done if MODY is suspected. The treatment depends on the exact genetic change.

Drug induced diabetes

Certain medications can increase the risk of developing diabetes. Examples of these are steroid tablets and some medication used to treat psychosis or schizophrenia. People who are on these medications long-term are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.