There are three types of diabetes, each a little different from the other. Here is what you need to know to keep them straight.

Type 2 Diabetes
Typically, when we hear talk of diabetes the term is referring to Type 2, which is the most common. When you are diagnosed with Type 2, it means that your body does not do a good job of producing or utilizing the blood-sugar-regulating hormone insulin. This results in excessive sugar in the blood, which damages the body over time. Type 2 diabetes usually strikes adults, but an increasing number of adolescents and teens are being diagnosed. This surge in early Type 2 diabetes has been linked to high levels of obesity in young people.  Type 2 diabetes worsens slowly over time and there can be no symptoms. It is possible for this high-blood-sugar disease to go unnoticed. Preventive steps, including eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly, can help people avoid developing Type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is typically identified at a younger age than Type 2. This is because symptoms of Type 1 (including extreme thirst and frequent urination) advance quickly, unlike in Type 2. A person diagnosed with Type 1 could already be noticeably ill. When you have this, your body does not produce the blood-sugar-regulating hormone insulin. Without insulin your body cannot successfully move glucose (sugar) from your bloodstream to your cells, where it converts to energy. You therefore have too much glucose (sugar) in your blood. There is no way to prevent Type 1 diabetes.  Researchers do not know its cause. The treatment usually involves daily injections of insulin.

Gestational Diabetes
This is high blood sugar that begins or is first diagnosed in a pregnant woman who has not previously been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes.  There are frequently no symptoms and any that do crop up are mild and not life-endangering. The hormones released during pregnancy may have prevented the blood-sugar-regulating insulin from doing its job of helping glucose (sugar) move from the bloodstream to the cells so it can fuel the body. After the baby is delivered, Mom’s blood sugar usually returns to normal. Risk for gestational diabetes increases for women with certain factors including a family history of diabetes and/or high blood pressure or unhealthy weight before pregnancy.