Diabetes is a disease, which plagues all developed nations with high life standard. In fact, there are more types of diabetes that are completely different in their causes and slightly differ in the therapy. This short article should only briefly introduce the main common types of diabetes, the details including symptoms, complications and therapy can be found in related articles.


Metabolism of glucose is quite complex and it is controlled by many hormones, especially by a hormone known as insulin produced by endocrine cells of pancreas. Insulin allows utilization of glucose by the majority of cells in our body, especially the muscle cells. All types of diabetes have one common aspect - elevation of blood level of glucose (glycemia).

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is relatively rare (compared to type 2 diabetes) autoimmune disease, which is related to autoaggressive immune reaction against pancreatic cells producing insulin. The affected person suffers from direct deficiency of insulin. The primary method of therapy is lifelong application of insulin.

Type 2 diabetes

This is the most common type of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder, which is related to the so-called metabolic syndrome. Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes is primarily caused by insulin resistance, i.e. inability of tissues to respond to the effect of insulin. The therapy should include healthy lifestyle, which may be combined with administration of oral antidiabetics. Acute deterioration or late stages are treated by insulin. 

Diabetes in pregnancy

Diabetes in pregnancy occurs in about 5% of pregnant women. This is caused by complex hormonal changes in the body that may be followed by increase of blood sugar. Women with diabetes in pregnancy (no matter the type of diabetes) have higher risks of miscarriages and congenital defects.

Other forms of diabetes

High blood sugar and conditions similar to diabetes may occur in chronic therapy by corticosteroids, in certain endocrine diseases (Cushing's syndrome, acromegaly), in affections of pancreas (chronic pancreatitis, post-surgical conditions, hemochromatosis) and certain congenital disorders.


Jiri Stefanek, MD  Author of texts: Jiri Stefanek, MD
 Contact: jiri.stefanek@seznam.cz
 Sources: basic text sources