Juvenile diabetes is also known as type 1 diabetes, as it usually begins in childhood and is associated with the inability of the pancreas to produce insulin. Diabetes is a biochemical disorder which affects the body's ability to use carbohydrates, sugars and starches. Children with diabetes are not able to produce sufficient insulin or are unable to use the insulin they produce effectively enough to break down glucose or sugar in the blood and make it available to the body. Children with type 1 diabetes are also called insulin-dependent because they have to take insulin for life.
Type 2 diabetes is often called adult onset diabetes, which usually occurs after the age of 40. However, this distinction is increasingly becoming blurred as more and more children develop type 2 diabetes due to unhealthy diet and lifestyle. While type 2 diabetes was previously almost unheard of in childhood, it is now becoming more common amongst children. Children with type 2 diabetes do produce insulin in the pancreas, but their bodies cannot use it efficiently. Children with type 2 diabetes therefore need diabetes medication or extra insulin to help their bodies use their own insulin better.