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Other types of diabetes

The three main type of diabetes are type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. But there are less common types of diabetes too, and these are often referred to as ‘Other’ diabetes.

If you or someone you know has ‘Other’ diabetes, read this page to find out more about what it is and how to manage it.

What is ‘Other’ diabetes?

‘Other’ diabetes is a name for diabetes resulting from a range of different health conditions or circumstances.

Diabetes resulting from specific health conditions and diseases

Some people may develop ‘Other’ diabetes because of a different health condition or disease. This type of ‘Other’ diabetes includes:

  • diseases affecting the pancreas, for example, cystic fibrosis, cancer and pancreatitis, pancreatectomy
  • endocrine diseases, for example, Cushing syndrome, acromegaly
  • genetic syndromes, for example, Down syndrome, Friedreich ataxia and Turner syndrome
  • viral infections, for example, congenial rubella and cytomegalovirus.

Diabetes resulting from medications

‘Other’ diabetes can also be triggered from medications that people may need to manage or treat certain health conditions. This type of ‘Other’ diabetes may be a temporary condition, but it can also be permanent. Examples of medications that can trigger this type of ‘Other’ diabetes are:

  • glucocorticoids, for example, cortisone (prednisone)
  • medication prescribed for a cancer or to stop an organ-transplant rejection
  • medication used to treat high blood pressure (thiazides)
  • medication used to treat hypothyroidism
  • medication used to treat high cholesterol (statins)
  • medication used to treat epilepsy
  • medication used to treat certain mental health problems.

Find out more about the different conditions in our ‘Other’ diabetes list.

‘Other’ diabetes and the NDSS

If you have been diagnosed with ‘Other’ diabetes, you may be eligible to register with the NDSS. For more information, visit the registration section of this website.

NDSS registration is free and can give you the support services and subsidised products you need to manage your diabetes.

Managing ‘Other’ diabetes

There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to managing diabetes. The management of diabetes will be determined by your type of ‘Other’ diabetes.

You can live well with ‘Other’ diabetes under the guidance of your doctor and diabetes educator, with the help of a healthy eating plan and regular physical activity, and by following the treatment plan developed by your doctor.

When you are diagnosed, your doctor will provide you with information and ask you questions about your diet, as well as your medical and health history. They will also ask about your family. If you are a parent, you may also be asked about the health of your children.

Your doctor might do a physical examination of your mouth, feet, eyes, abdomen, skin and thyroid gland, and possibly a cardiac (heart) work-up. You may also have blood tests, including a blood-lipid test for cholesterol. All of this is important for your overall care.

If you find all this information overwhelming, do not worry. Your diabetes health care team can take you through your personal diabetes management plan, step by step. Make an appointment right away. Talk to your family, friends and others who may be living with diabetes.

I have been diagnosed with diabetes, what do I do now?

Here are some steps to consider when you are newly diagnosed with diabetes.

Managing your health

Find out more about managing your health and preventing health complications. This includes information on eye health, foot health, pregnancy and depression.

How are you going with your diabetes health checks?

Regular checks can help reduce risks of serious diabetes-related complications, like problems with your feet, eyes, heart and kidneys. Your health care team will let you know how often you need checks, so you can schedule them into your calendar.

Disclaimer

This information is intended as a guide only. It should not replace individual medical advice. If you have any concerns about your health, or further questions, you should contact your health professional.