TYPES OF DIABETES
Types of DiabetesThere are two major types of diabetes; type1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes results from the body’s failure to produce insulin, and the person is required to inject insulin from the very beginning. Type 2 diabetes results from insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to use insulin properly, sometimes combined with a relative insulin deficiency to start of with. Insulin is a hormone produced by special cells; beta cells in the pancreas. Insulin is needed to move blood sugar into cells, where it is used for energy. Without enough insulin as in diabetic patients, glucose builds up in the bloodstream instead of going into the cells. The body is unable to use this glucose and hence energy in the form of glucose gets lost in urine.
Type 1 Diabetes
This type of diabetes is most commonly found in children, adolescents and sometimes in young adults. Exact cause of type1 diabetes is unknown but it is believed that an infection can cause the body to to destroy the insulin producing cells; beta cells in the pancreas. Hence body cannot produce any insulin to use glucose for energy resulting in increasing glucose level in the blood.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong disease in which there are high levels of glucose in the blood and also used to be known as non insulin dependent diabetes in the past. When you have Type 2 diabetes, your liver, and muscle cells and fat do not respond correctly to insulin. This is called insulin resistance. As a result, blood sugar does not get into the cells to be used for energy. When sugar cannot enter cells, high levels of sugar build up in the blood. Type 2 diabetes usually occurs slowly over time. It mostly affects adults, both male and female alike who are over 40 years of age. Family history and genes play a large role in type 2 diabetes. Low activity level, poor diet, excess body weight around the tummy and mental stress increase your risk.
Obesity in childhood is giving rise to a new entity called type 2 diabetes in children. This was considered a rare phenomenon in the past but with the alarming rise of pediatric obesity, it is possible that we are going to detect more cases of type 2 diabetes than type 1 diabetes in future, as is happening in Japan.
Gestational diabetes is diabetes that starts during pregnancy. It may lead to type 2 diabetes mellitus or, very rarely type1 diabetes mellitus in the years to come. Pregnancy hormones block the insulin from doing its job and this can lead to high glucose levels in those predisposed to diabetes during pregnancy. High glucose level during pregnancy can lead to a miscarriage or complications during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes babies are at high risk of developing respiratory distress, persistent jaundice in new born, low blood sugars or hypoglycemia in the new born and most of them will be large birth weight babies. But good diet plans, exercise and medication; insulin is preferred during this period which will help to reduce the risks for both the mother and the child.
Symptoms of Diabetes
In both types of diabetes, signs and symptoms are more likely to be similar as the blood sugar is high. These symptoms are quickly relieved once the diabetes is treated.
Some of the early signs and symptoms of diabetes include :
- Increased thirst.
- Increased frequency of urination.
- Blurry vision.
- Increased hunger.
- Weight loss despite increased appetite.
- Infections: high blood sugar levels lead to frequent skin infections and infections of the urinary tract.
- Poor wound healing: Due to diabetes, our immune cells don’t function properly hence wound healing is slow.
- Continuous infection over the private parts is a common symptom of diabetes.Symptoms in type 1 diabetes may occur rapidly and over a brief period of time while diabetes type 2 may not have symptoms for many years.
Complications of Diabetes
Complications can result from sustained high levels of glucose in the blood. These diabetic conditions can affect your eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart and the blood vessels especially over the feet. If blood sugar levels aren’t well controlled, diabetes complications may be disabling or even life-threatening. Other long-term complications of diabetes include skin problems, digestive problems, sexual dysfunction, and problems with your teeth and gums. But by keeping your blood sugar level close to normal, you can dramatically reduce the risk of these complications.