Types of diabetes

This article was endorsed by Irene Mazzuca - Doctor of Medicine from the University of Rome "La Sapienza"

Differences between different types of diabetes

How many types of diabetes are there?

blood test
Photo of blood tests of a person with high sugar (glucose), high cholesterol and very high triglycerides.

Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by an imbalance in blood sugar levels.

Classification of diabetes by cause

According to the cause of diabetes we distinguish 6 types of diabetes:

  • Type I diabetes mellitus
  • Type II diabetes mellitus
  • LADA diabetes
  • Diabetes MODY
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Diabetes insipidus

What symptoms does diabetes give?

In general, the main symptoms of this disease are:

  • Urinating a lot (polyuria)
  • Very thirsty (polydipsis)
  • Very hungry (polyphagy)
  • Breath with “apple smell” (ketoacidosis)


Type 1 Diabetes – Childhood Diabetes

yogurt with oats
Yogurt with oats, a healthy breakfast rich in slow-absorbing carbohydrates, fiber, calcium and magnesium, suitable in the diet for diabetes.
  • It is a metabolism disorder that is detected between the ages of 10 and 25. It is also known as childhood or juvenile diabetes.
  • It is the most severe form of this disease, since there is a high risk of future health complications.
  • For unknown reasons, probably due to an autoimmune mechanism, the body attacks the cells of the pancreas responsible for producing insulin.
  • Due to insufficient production, these people must be medicated for life with insulin (insulin-dependent diabetes)
  • It can also occur as a consequence of impaired pancreas functions (pancreatitis) or by removal of the organ in pancreatic cancer.

Type 2 Diabetes – Adult Diabetes

man eating
Obesity may be a trigger for type 2 diabetes in predisposed subjects.
  • It appears from the age of 40, and especially at 60.
  • The body develops insulin resistance, which causes it to not act properly. The causes are unclear, but obesity is a trigger (70% of patients with type 2 diabetes are overweight).
  • As a consequence, blood sugar levels are high, with the risk of diseases that hyperglycemia entails (diseases of the eyes, heart, nerves, etc.). These negative health effects occur in the long term.
  • Initially can be controlled with diet and lifestyle, without the need for insulin (non-insulin-dependent diabetes).

Diabetes MODY

  • Type 2 diabetes is so called when it occurs in childhood.
  • MODY stands for Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young (adult diabetes that occurs in youth).
  • Unlike type 1 diabetes, young people with this disorder can control their diabetes with diet and lifestyle, and insulin medication is not necessary. It is non-insulin-dependent diabetes.
  • MODY diabetes can be controlled with diet and lifestyle for months or years.
  • Young people with this disease must be educated with healthy foods that are suitable for diabetes because this way they will be able to prevent complications in the future.

LADA diabetes

  • It is an autoimmune disorder, like type 1 diabetes, but it remains latent and manifests itself in adulthood.
  • LADA stands for Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adults. As in type 1 diabetes, the immune system destroys the cells of the pancreas that make insulin.
  • The progression of the disease is slow, and the pancreas manufactures certain amounts of insulin, so it can initially be controlled with diet and oral antidiabetics. Over the years it will be
  • necessary to use insulin (insulin-dependent diabetes).
  • They can affect adults diagnosed with atypical type 2 diabetes, who are not obese.

Gestational diabetes


  • It is diabetes that appears or is detected during pregnancy.
  • It appears between the second and third trimester of pregnancy and, in most cases, disappears after delivery.
  • It is more frequent in pregnancies from the age of 30.
  • It is caused by an intolerance to glucose.
  • If not controlled it can lead to pregnancy problems.
  • Babies tend to be heavier, and a cesarean delivery is more likely.
  • These mothers may develop type 2 diabetes after 5, 10 years or more.

Diabetes insipidus

  • It is a rare disorder in which the cause is due to a lack of the hormone vasopressin.
  • Unlike other types of diabetes, in this case insulin production is normal and is treated by administering vasopressin.
  • In this disease, vasopressin is not produced or does not act properly, producing a large amount of urine (from 2 to 10 liters per day).

punto rojo More information on diabetes

Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

17 June, 2020

Other interesting articles

This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.
"Botanical" is not responsible for damages caused by self-medication.

Botanical-online is an informative page that describes, among other topics, the traditional uses of plants from a therapeutic point of view. Their descriptions do not replace professional advice. Botanical-online is not responsible for self-medication and recommends consulting with the physician.