The most important difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes is that Type 2 diabetes is preventable. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body doesn't use insulin effectively. Although it has a genetic basis, losing weight and increasing physical activity can help treat or prevent Type 2 diabetes in most cases.
Type 1 diabetes, on the other hand, is a hereditary condition in which the body does not produce enough insulin. Type 1 diabetes must be managed through insulin injections as well as carefully-monitored eating and regular exercise. Although the causes of Type 1 and 2 diabetes are different, both forms of the disease are equally serious and have equally serious consequences if left untreated.
There is also a third type of diabetes called gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes occurs in some women during pregnancy. It usually disappears after the baby's birth. Women who have had gestational diabetes are at a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.