Find Out Each Type of Diabetes and their Causes

find out the type of diabetes and its causes

Diabetes mellitus, or diabetes, is a chronic metabolic condition with various types characterized by persistently increased blood sugar levels. Understanding the specific type of diabetes is critical, given its growing global prevalence.

In this article, we look at the various types of diabetes and the underlying causes. From the well-known Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes to the lesser-known gestational diabetes and others, we explore the complexity of this ailment to shed light on its causes and consequences.

Join us on a quest to understand the complexities of diabetes and equip ourselves with the knowledge to effectively tackle its consequences.

Statistics Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Fast Facts about Diabetes

This is the National Diabetes Statistics Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with the highest estimate of diabetics and prediabetics:


Diabetes affects 38.4 million individuals in the US, representing 11.6% of the population.

Diagnosed: 29.7 million individuals, including 29.4 million adults.

Undiagnosed: 8.7 million adults (22.8%).


Prediabetes affects 97.6 million adults in the US, accounting for 38.0% of the population.

65 years and older: 27.2 million persons aged 65 or older (48.8%) have prediabetes.

Diabetes is a disorder that occurs when your blood sugar levels (glucose) are abnormally high.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disorder that occurs when your blood sugar levels (glucose) are abnormally high. It develops when your pancreas does not produce enough or any insulin, or when your body does not adequately respond to insulin’s effects. Diabetes affects individuals of all ages. The majority of diabetes cases are chronic (lifelong), and all can be managed with medication and lifestyle adjustments.

Glucose (sugar) is mostly derived from carbs in food and beverages. It’s your body’s primary source of energy. Your blood transports glucose to all of your cells, where it is used for energy.

When glucose enters your bloodstream, it requires assistance — a “key” — to reach its intended destination. This key is insulin, a hormone. If your pancreas does not produce enough insulin or your body does not use it correctly, glucose accumulates in your bloodstream, resulting in high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).

Over time, having continuously high blood glucose levels can lead to health complications such as heart disease, nerve damage, and vision problems.

Diabetes is known technically as diabetes mellitus. Diabetes insipidus is another condition with the same name, however it is not the same as diabetes. They share the term “diabetes” because they both produce excessive thirst and frequent urination. Diabetes insipidus is significantly rarer than diabetes mellitus.

Also known as juvenile diabetes, Type 1 Diabetes is a dramatic paradox in the world of autoimmune disorders.

Type 1 Diabetes

Also known as juvenile diabetes, Type 1 Diabetes is a dramatic paradox in the world of autoimmune disorders. Within this complex physiological landscape, the body’s immune system, which is normally a defender against outside invaders, unexpectedly turns against itself. Immune cells launch a persistent attack on the pancreatic islet cells that orchestrate the delicate ballet of insulin production.

Type 1 diabetes is thought to be an autoimmune disease. This means that your immune system wrongly assaults and destroys insulin-producing beta cells in your pancreas. The injury is permanent. What motivates the attacks is unclear. There could be both hereditary and environmental factors. Lifestyle variables are not thought to play an influence.

Though Type 1 diabetes is less common than Type 2, its impact is significant, impacting up to 10% of people with diabetes. Contrary to popular belief, its emergence is not limited to childhood or adolescence; rather, it can occur at any stage of life, leaving no one immune to its unpredictable hold. However, due to its preference for younger demographics, its initial diagnosis frequently occurs during the formative years of childhood or adolescence, providing tremendous hurdles to the developmental journey.

Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age, however, it is most commonly diagnosed in childhood. If your mother, father, brother, or sister has type 1 diabetes, you are somewhat more likely to develop it as well.

What Causes Type 1 Diabetes?

People with type 1 diabetes have beta cells in their pancreas that make insulin. Their immune system attacks and kills these cells. For example, scientists believe that genes and things in the surroundings, like viruses, may set off type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, upsets the body's metabolic balance in a more minor but still important way. So check your blood sugar

Type 2 Diabetes

This is a common metabolic disease that shows how the body’s systems don’t work together properly. Type 1 diabetes is marked by autoimmune attacks on cells that make insulin. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, upsets the body’s metabolic balance in a more minor but still important way. There are two main plots going on here: not enough insulin is being made and insulin resistance is slowly building up.

Insulin, which is needed for cells to take in glucose and keep it under control, is either low or having trouble working with cells that are resistant. Although the pancreas is in charge of making insulin, it is not able to keep up with the growing needs of the body’s metabolism. At the same time, peripheral tissues, which are supposed to benefit from insulin’s ability to regulate, put up a quiet resistance, like a door slowly opening after a long knock.

The most common type of diabetes is Type 2, which is caused by a sneaky mix of cells that are resistant to insulin and insulin not working properly. There is a sickness that affects everyone, even children, even though it is usually associated with older adults. In fact, the danger of childhood obesity and a lack of physical activity casts a dark shadow, bringing a generation into metabolic instability too soon.

What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?

Overweight, Obesity, and Physical Inactivity

You are more prone to acquire type 2 diabetes if you are physically inactive and overweight or obese. Extra weight can promote insulin resistance, which is common among persons with type 2 diabetes. The location of body fat also matters. Extra belly fat has been linked to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and heart and blood vessel damage.

Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance, a disease in which muscle, liver, and fat cells do not respond adequately to insulin, is the most common precursor to type 2 diabetes. As a result, your body requires more insulin to transport glucose into cells. At first, the pancreas produces more insulin to meet the increased demand. Over time, the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin, resulting in elevated blood glucose levels.

Genes and Family History

Certain genes, including those associated with type 1 diabetes, may increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The disease typically runs in families and is more prevalent in the following racial/ethnic groups:

  • African Americans
  • Alaska Natives
  • American Indians
  • Asian Americans
  • Hispanics/Latinos
  • Native Hawaiians are Pacific Islanders

Genes can also increase a person’s chance of developing type 2 diabetes by making them more likely to be overweight or obese.

Gestational diabetes (GD) is a sad interlude in the delicate weaving of pregnancy that casts a shadow over the relationship between the mother and the baby.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes (GD) is a sad interlude in the delicate weaving of pregnancy that casts a shadow over the relationship between the mother and the baby. It shows how the delicate balance between physiological response and metabolic change that makes up the gravid state is shown.

GD is different from its cousins because it only shows up for a short time. It usually does so around the middle of pregnancy, when the baby is growing quickly and the mother’s metabolism is changing. Between 2% and 10% of pregnant people in the United States develop gestational diabetes.

Many people think that GD means that the mother already has a higher risk of getting diabetes, but this is not true. It actually happens because of being pregnant. During this time, a lot of chemical changes and metabolic needs cause blood sugar levels to rise in a way that doesn’t make sense.

Many physiological aspects of pregnancy, such as hormonal spikes in the placenta and insulin resistance in the mother, work together to mark the start of GD and make it a permanent part of the gravid story.

However, among the short-lived symptoms of prenatal diabetes, a big difference can be seen between them and the metabolic problems that people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes already have. Gestational diabetes affects the mother’s health and the health of the unborn child. Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, bring their own special problems to pregnancy.

Taking care of pregnant women who already have diabetes is tricky because they need to keep their blood sugar levels under control while also protecting their health and the health of the baby.

What Causes Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that happens during pregnancy. Scientists think it is caused by genes and lifestyle factors as well as changes in hormones during pregnancy.

Resistance to Insulin

Insulin resistance is something that all women go through in late pregnancy. It’s caused by hormones made by the placenta. Some pregnant women can’t make enough insulin to get past insulin resistance, but most of them can. When the pancreas can’t make enough insulin, a woman gets gestational diabetes.

Like type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes is linked to being overweight. If a woman is overweight or obese, she may already have insulin resistance when she gets pregnant. It could also be because you gained too much weight during your pregnancy.

Family History and Genes

Gestational diabetes is more likely to happen to women whose family has a history of diabetes. This shows that genes play a part. It may also be because of genes that African Americans, American Indians, Asians, and Hispanics/Latinos are more likely to have the disorder.

Genetic Mutations

  • Monogenic diabetes is brought on by changes in a single gene. Most of the time, these changes are passed down through families, but sometimes the gene variation happens by itself. The pancreas can’t make as much insulin because of most of these gene changes that cause diabetes. Newborn diabetes and diabetes that start in young adults are the most common types of monogenic diabetes (MODY). In the first six months of life, babies can get neonatal diabetes. Most of the time, MODY is identified in teens or early adults, but sometimes it is not found until much later in life.
  • Cystic fibrosis NIH external link makes the liver make thick mucus that scars. The pancreas might not be able to make enough insulin because of these scars.
  • People with hemochromatosis have too much iron stored in their bodies. It is important to treat the disease because iron can build up in the liver and other organs and hurt them.

Hormonal Diseases

There are hormonal diseases that make the body make too many of certain hormones, which can lead to diabetes and insulin resistance.

  • People with Cushing’s syndrome have too much cortisol in their bodies. Cortisol is often called the “stress hormone.”
  • Too much growth hormone in the body can cause amyloidosis.
  • When the thyroid gland makes too much thyroid hormone, this is called hyperthyroidism.
checking blood sugar

Other Types of Diabetes

Type 3C Diabetes

This is a less common form of the complex range of metabolic diseases that affects the pancreas in a way that is different from more common types. Unlike Type 1 diabetes, in which insulin-producing cells are destroyed by the immune system, or Type 2 diabetes, which is marked by insulin resistance and insufficient insulin production, this type is caused by damage to the pancreas that has nothing to do with the immune system.

A lot of different things in the body work together to attack the pancreas, starting a chain reaction of metabolic problems that leads to hyperglycemia, the main sign of diabetes.

Type 3c diabetes can be caused by a number of different problems with the pancreas, from pancreatitis, which is an inflammatory condition of the pancreatic tissue, to pancreatic cancer, which can be very sneaky. Also, diseases like cystic fibrosis and hemochromatosis cast scary shadows over the pancreas, starting a chain reaction of damage that threatens insulin production and blood sugar control.

Even the extreme procedure of pancreatectomy, which is done to fix problems with the pancreas, may unintentionally lead to Type 3c diabetes. This shows how closely pancreatic health and metabolic balance are connected.

Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA)

It is caused by an autoimmune reaction, just like Type 1 diabetes, but it grows much more slowly. Most people who are identified with LADA are over 30 years old.

In the world of diabetes mellitus, Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA) is a unique problem because it combines parts of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes into a complicated bodily tapestry. There is a connection between LADA and Type 1 diabetes in that both are caused by the immune system attacking pancreatic beta cells.

However, LADA develops much more slowly than Type 1 diabetes. This slow development is different from Type 1 diabetes, which has a sudden onset. It shows up as a long road to overt hyperglycemia and a clinical diagnosis. Unlike Type 1 diabetes, which usually affects young people, LADA mostly affects people over the age of 30. It brings them into the world of autoimmune metabolic discordance in a way that hides how serious it is.

Maturity-Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY)

This is caused by a genetic mutation that you acquire and that changes how your body makes and uses insulin. There are more than 10 kinds of MODY right now. Up to 5 percent of people with diabetes have it, and it often runs in families.

Neonatal Diabetes

This is an uncommon type of diabetes that shows up in babies in their first six months of life. One-gene diabetes is another name for it. About half of babies born with neonatal diabetes have the type that lasts a lifetime, which is called permanent newborn diabetes mellitus. For the other half, the disease goes away after a few months, but it can come back later in life. Transient newborn diabetes mellitus is the name for this.

Brittle Diabetes

This is a type of Type 1 diabetes called “brittle diabetes.” People with this type of diabetes have frequent and serious episodes of high and low blood sugar. People who are unstable often end up in the hospital. In very few cases, a pancreas donation may be needed to treat brittle diabetes for good.

Disclaimer:  Please note that Discoverybody has taken great care to ensure that all information provided is comprehensive and up-to-date. However, you should not use this article as a substitute for the expertise that a licensed healthcare professional can offer. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before taking any medication.

Sources Expanded:

  • National Diabetes Statistics Report  | Diabetes | CDC. (n.d.).
  • Professional, C. C. M. (n.d.). Diabetes. Cleveland Clinic.
  • Professional, C. C. M. (n.d.). Gestational Diabetes. Cleveland Clinic.
  • Symptoms & Causes of Diabetes. (2023, February 28). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
  • Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes. (2023, October 10). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
  • Diabetes – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic. (2024, March 27). Mayo Clinic.
  • Pietrangelo, A. (2024, January 18). What Are the Different Types of Diabetes? Healthline.
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