There are two main types of diabetes.
1. Insulin - dependent diabetes mellitus. (Type - I)
2. Non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. (Type - II)
1. Insulin - dependent diabetes (IDDM or Type - I)
This type of diabetes usually affects children or adolescents and is known as juvenile onset diabetes. There is little or no production of insulin and as a result, such individuals require daily insulin injections. There is usually a sudden onset. The symptoms get severe, when insulin injections are discontinued. The diabetic develops a life - threatening metabolic complication referred to as ketoacidosis.
2. Non-insulin dependent diabetes. (NIDDM or Type II)
This usually affects overweight or obese adults and is known as adult onset diabetes. Non insulin dependent diabetes, develops slowly and is usually milder and more stable.
The insulin production may be normal or even high. However the insulin produced is not as effective as normal insulin. In subjects with this type of diabetes, diet, exercise or oral anti-diabetic drugs may be enough to control the raised blood sugar.
Other types :
3. Malnutrition related diabetes mellitus (MRDM)
This type of diabetes is mainly seen in some tropical countries like India and it occurs in young people between 15 - 30 years of age. Generally people with MRDM are lean and undernourished. In this type of diabetes, the pancreas fails to produce adequate insulin. As a result, these diabetics require insulin. In contrast to type 1 diabetics, these patients generally do not develop ketoacidosis, when insulin injections are discontinued.
Secondary diabetes may result from other hormonal disorders
Diabetes developed during pregnancy is described as gestational diabetes. It occurs in about 1% of pregnant women. Gestational diabetes increases the diabetes related complications during pregnancy, and also the subsequent development of diabetes after the delivery.