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Other types of diabetes

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

What is ‘other’ diabetes?

The three main types 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.

These types of diabetes can result 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, pancreatitis, pancreatectomy
  • endocrine diseases, for example, Cushing’s syndrome, acromegaly
  • genetic syndromes, for example, Down syndrome, Friedreich ataxia and Turner syndrome
  • viral infections, for example, congenital 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.

If you have been diagnosed with ‘other’ diabetes, you may be eligible to register with the NDSS. Find out about the different conditions eligible to register with the NDSS.

If the NDSS Registration Form indicates a diagnosis of ‘other’ diabetes, the health professional signing the form must provide specific details.  This is necessary to determine whether the criteria of ‘other’ diabetes has been met. If you have any of these conditions, the authorising health professional must provide and certify documentation that includes:

  • your diagnosis and any other health problems, conditions, or comorbidities, that you may have
  • a history of your conditions and other health problems and related issues
  • how your condition and related health problems are currently being managed
  • treatment—previous, current, and proposed, and
  • benefit of registration and/or accessing products and why special access is being requested.

Consideration may be given on a case-by-case basis by an appropriately constituted expert panel established by Diabetes Australia that will provide a recommendation to the Department of Health and Aged Care.

The Department of Health and Aged Care will be the deciding body for all these cases.

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Register with NDSS

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

Diabetes products

Your NDSS registration gives you access to subsidised products.

NDSS Helpline

Call the NDSS Helpline on 1800 637 700 for diabetes support and to learn more about the NDSS.

Health care team

Form a health care team who can help you set goals and manage your diabetes confidently.

Living with diabetes

With so many factors to consider, you probably have questions and concerns about how diabetes can fit into your lifestyle.

Diabetes health checks

It is important to have regular health checks to identify problems early and put the best treatment in place.

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.

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

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

Read more in our fact sheet or listen to our podcast series.

Your diabetes annual cycle of care fact sheet

The diabetes annual cycle of care is a checklist for reviewing your diabetes management and general health each year.

Download now
Annual cycle of care podcast series

Listen to our Annual cycle of care podcast series to learn more about what it is, why it’s important, and what you need to know about it.

Available in other languages Listen now

More information and support

  • Call the NDSS Helpline on 1800 637 700 to speak to one of our health professionals for information, advice or to find out what services are available in your area.
Find a health service or health professional near you

Go to healthdirect to find a diabetes health service or diabetes health professional on their website.

Go to Healthdirect
Find a pharmacy near you

Go to healthdirect to find a community pharmacy on their website.

Go to Healthdirect

Free access to diabetes programs

Learn to manage your diabetes confidently with diabetes programs, available face-to-face and online. Register for a diabetes program.

Featured resource

This resource has some information about ‘other’ types of diabetes.

Information for people with type 2 diabetes

This booklet explains the services and products available to you through the NDSS and provides general information about type 2 diabetes. It is a great starting point to help you with managing your diabetes



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.

Diabetes Australia acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this Country. We recognise their connection to land, waters, winds and culture. We pay the upmost respect to them, their cultures and to their Elders, past and present. We are committed to improving health outcomes for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by diabetes and those at risk.

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