What is type 1 diabetes versus type 2 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is when your body makes very little or no insulin. It is often diagnosed when someone is a child or a young adult. People with type 1 diabetes need insulin shots or an insulin pump.

Type 2 diabetes is when your body cannot use the insulin it makes and over time does not make enough of it. Type 2 diabetes is often found in people who are overweight, have a family history of diabetes, do not exercise enough, and are older. Type 2 makes up about 90 -95 percent of all diabetes cases. Most people with type 2 diabetes need daily medication or insulin shots.


What is type 2 diabetes and how common is it?

Type 2 diabetes is when blood sugar levels are above normal. Our body turns the food we eat into sugar to use for energy. An organ called the pancreas makes a hormone called insulin to help our bodies use sugar. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugar to build up in your blood and can later cause health problems like heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-limb amputation (removing a toe, foot or leg by surgery). More than 34 million Americans have diabetes. 1 in 5 of them do not know they have it. Diabetes is the eighth leading cause of death in the United States.

What are the most common long-term complications of type 2 diabetes?

People who have type 2 diabetes are at higher risk of health problems like heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness, and lower-limb amputation (removing a toe, foot or leg by surgery). Adults who have diabetes have a 50 percent higher risk of early death than those who do not.

Is type 2 diabetes genetic?

Certain genetic factors can put you at higher risk for type 2 diabetes—but type 2 diabetes can often be stopped through healthy changes. You’re at higher risk if you have family with type 2 diabetes.

What causes type 2 diabetes?

Diabetes is related to insulin – a hormone made by your pancreas. Insulin acts like a key to let blood sugar into cells for use as energy. If you have prediabetes, the cells in your body don’t respond normally to insulin. So, your pancreas makes more insulin to try to get the cells to respond. Over time, your pancreas can’t keep up and your blood sugar rises. This will cause prediabetes—and can cause type 2 diabetes later.

For more information on type 2 diabetes, visit the CDC’s website.


How can I prevent type 2 diabetes?

If you have prediabetes or are at high risk for type 2 diabetes, you should talk with your doctor. They will help you make a plan to help reverse prediabetes and stop type 2 diabetes. Often, this will mean losing weight, eating healthier, and being more active. Ask your doctor about CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle change program for help in making these healthy changes.

How can I reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes?

You can lower your risk for type 2 diabetes by making healthy lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, eating healthier, and getting regular physical activity. The CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program can help you make healthy changes that have lasting results.

For more information on how to prevent type 2 diabetes, visit the CDC’s website.


What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?

Many people with type 2 diabetes don’t notice any signs. If someone’s blood sugar level is very high, they may have blurry vision, feel thirsty, feel tired, and pee often. You cannot rely on symptoms to know if you have type 2 diabetes. It’s important to ask your doctor.

How is type 2 diabetes diagnosed?

Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed using the same blood tests as those used for prediabetes.

Want to be tested for diabetes? The CDC has all you need to know.


How is type 2 diabetes treated?

People with type 2 diabetes need to manage their health every day. Dealing with diabetes can be hard, but it is worth it. You may be able to deal with your type 2 diabetes with healthy eating and exercise. Your doctor may also give you insulin and other medicine to help manage your blood sugar and avoid problems. You should also manage your blood pressure and cholesterol and get the tests you need.

How often should blood sugar be checked?

If you have type 2 diabetes, your blood sugar levels need to be checked often.
Ask your doctor how often and what your blood sugar levels should be at. Keeping your blood sugar levels close to your target will help you stop or slow down diabetes-related health problems.

How can stress affect type 2 diabetes?

High stress levels can make dealing with type 2 diabetes harder. Exercising often, getting enough sleep, and learning to relax can help. Talk to your doctor about other ways you can deal with stress.

How often should I see my healthcare provider to help manage type 2 diabetes?

If you have type 2 diabetes, you should meet with your doctor regularly to make sure you’re staying on track with your plan. This is a great way to get support and guidance, such as advice on managing your blood sugar and overall health. You can also learn how to give yourself insulin by syringe, pen, or pump if needed. If you have type 2 diabetes, ask your doctor about diabetes self-management education and support. You can also search the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists’ nationwide directory for a list of educators in your area.

Can type 2 diabetes be reversed or cured?

There isn’t a cure for type 2 diabetes yet. But it can be managed through healthy lifestyle habits, medicine from your doctor, and meeting often with your healthcare team.

Visit CDC’s website for diabetes tips.


What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes (sometimes called GDM) is a type of diabetes that can occur in pregnant women who don’t already have diabetes. Every year, gestational diabetes impacts 2-10 percent of pregnancies in America. Managing gestational diabetes will make sure you have a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.

What causes gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes occurs when your body can’t make enough insulin during your pregnancy. During pregnancy, your body makes more hormones and goes through other changes, such as weight gain. These changes cause your body’s cells to use insulin less well, a problem called insulin resistance. All pregnant women have some insulin resistance during late pregnancy, but some women have insulin resistance even before they get pregnant. They start pregnancy with an increased need for insulin and are more likely to have gestational diabetes.

What is the link between gestational diabetes and prediabetes or type 2 diabetes?

Gestational diabetes often goes away after your baby is born—but having gestational diabetes puts you at higher risk for getting prediabetes and type 2 diabetes later. About 50 percent of women with gestational diabetes go on to get type 2 diabetes. You can lower your risk by resting and keeping a healthy body weight after your baby is born. Visit your doctor to have your blood sugar tested 6 to 12 weeks after your baby is born and then every 1 to 3 years to make sure your levels are on target.

For more information about gestational diabetes, visit the CDC’s website.


With early diagnosis, prediabetes can often be reversed. When you join a National DPP lifestyle change program, you’ll learn how to make simple changes to help reverse prediabetes and prevent type 2 diabetes. Find an online or in-person program below.