Diabetes mellitus is the scientific name for the disease even though most people refer to it by the common name of just diabetes. The American Diabetes Association reports that at least 29.1 million people in the United States suffer from the disease. Nearly 350 million people worldwide have the disease, according to the World Health Organization.

A person has diabetes because of one of three reasons. Either there is no insulin or not enough insulin going to the blood cells, or the cells don't respond to what is produced, or a woman is pregnant.

The type of diabetes a person has depends on what causes the lack of insulin in the body. All types of diabetes cause blood glucose levels to be higher than normal in those who have the disease.

You might have heard people talk about Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes because they are the most common, but there is actually a third type. Gestational diabetes is not often talked about because of the group that is affected by it.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes is also known as juvenile diabetes. That's when a person’s pancreas produces no insulin or not enough insulin. The cause of this type is unknown and is far less common and accounts for only 10 percent of adults who have the disease. It is treated with daily insulin injections or an insulin pump.

This form of the disease typically occurs in children, or in adults before the age of 40.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes occurs in people whose cells become resistant to insulin by not responding properly to insulin. Therefore, a greater amount of insulin is needed to keep blood glucose levels within a normal range. This is the most common form of the disease.

It accounts for 85 or 95 percent of all cases where cells are unable to produce insulin.

This type usually occurs in people who are 40 years or older; however, there might be exceptions. Obesity is a major cause weather in younger or older adults. Most people with this type of diabetes can keep it under control by taking medications without having to use daily insulin injections or an insulin pump.

Some diabetics having this type will also need insulin, although that is less common.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is not talked about as much as the other two types. That's because only pregnant women can have it when they produce too much blood sugar while carrying an unborn baby especially during the last three months of pregnancy. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born, but there might be an increased risk of it developing into Type 2 diabetes.