There are different types of diabetes; all types are complex and serious. The three main types of diabetes are type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes.
Diabetes type 1
Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition that has no cure and can't be prevented. It is not linked to modifiable lifestyle factors.
Diabetes type 2
Type 2 is largely a preventable condition. By modifying behavioural and lifestyle factors the risk decreases. The common risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes include:
- being overweight or obese, obese people are 4 times more likely to develop diabetes type 2, and overweight people are twice as likely to develop diabetes
- carrying excess weight around the waist
- insufficient physical activity
- unhealthy diet, and
- high blood pressure.
Those with a family history of diabetes have a genetic disposition to developing type 2 diabetes.
Genes have also been identified as increasing the risk of diabetes type 2 in some cultural backgrounds including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Chinese, South Asian, Indian, and Pacific Islander people. Although inherited genes may influence the development of type 2 diabetes, modification of behaviour and lifestyle are the most important preventative measures.