Types of Diabetes and the Way They Occur In Your Life
Types of diabetes are classified based on the causes and the time of onset. People call diabetes mellitus as a lifestyle-related disease. On the one hand, it may be true since eating pattern, and physical activities contribute much to the risk of developing diabetes. On the other side, a particular type of diabetes happens at a very early age while another occurs only when a woman is pregnant.
Today, diabetes mellitus is one of the leading causes of deaths. The disease happens when the body can neither produce insulin nor use the insulin it naturally produces. The hormone serves the control of the amount of glucose (sugar) in one’s body. When the insulin is not enough to control the glucose, the result is clear: high blood sugar level.
Type of Diabetes and Symptoms
There are two common types of diabetes mellitus, namely Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. There is another type of diabetes, which happens during pregnancy.
Types of Diabetes: Type 1 Diabetes
This type of diabetes mellitus generally occurs during childhood. Therefore, it is also known as child-onset diabetes. However, few patients develop it in their adulthood. This type of diabetes happens when the immune system mistakenly kills the beta cells – specialized cells in the pancreas. This is also called insulin-dependent diabetes. Insulin injection can help control the blood sugar level in the normal range.
The pancreas is an organ, which serves to release hormones into the digestive system. In a healthy body, the beta cells will release insulin when the blood sugar level is higher than usual. Then, insulin causes the cells to take sugar, sugar it into energy, or store it into fats. Then, the blood sugar level will decrease.
However, when the immune system kills the beta cells, they cannot release insulin anymore. Then, there is no hormone to promote sugar take-up. As a result, sugars are kept in one’s body. Proper meal planning can also help to control the blood sugar level. Common symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes include the following:
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent urination
- Dry mouth
- Constant fatigue and lack of energy
- Sudden weight loss (even though the person is not on a weight loss program)
- Constant hunger
- Blurred vision
Types of Diabetes: Type 2 Diabetes
Among the types of diabetes, this is considered the most common and most serious one. Type 2 diabetes is also known as adult-onset diabetes since it develops mostly in adulthood period. It accounts for more than 90% of all cases of diabetes in the world. Unlike Type 1 Diabetes, which makes the patients dependent upon insulin, Type 2 diabetes is resistant to insulin. The body has insulin, but it cannot use the hormone efficiently.
Type 2 Diabetes is more severe as it may go undetected for many years. Then, the diagnosis is usually made when the patients have developed complications. In other words, it may be too late. This type of diabetes is often, but not always, associated with some risk factors, particularly overweight and obesity, lack of exercises, and genetics. Accordingly, it mostly happens in people who have a sedentary lifestyle – high-calorie and high-sugar meals and lack of physical activities.
The disease development may be delayed with diet and exercises. However, the patients will eventually need medical treatments, such as oral drugs or insulin. Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes are mostly similar to those of Type 1 Diabetes. However, some additional symptoms may be present, including:
- Slow-healing wounds
- Vulnerability to fungal skin infections
- Numbness in feet and hands
Types of Diabetes: Gestational Diabetes
As the name suggests, this type of diabetes occurs during the gestational period, namely pregnancy. Among the three types of diabetes, this is the rarest and the least dangerous one. Prevalence of the disease is 1: 25. One in 25 pregnant women in the world develops gestational diabetes mellitus. The condition usually disappears after the childbirth.
Even though it may sound less severe than the other two types of diabetes, gestational diabetes may lead to severe effects in the future. Firstly, children of the women who have gestational diabetes are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in their life. Secondly, studies show that almost half of women who develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy develop type 2 diabetes about 5 to 10 years later.
Symptoms of gestational diabetes are mostly the same. Among the risk factors include being overweight, having a high level of abdominal fat, being older than 35 years at pregnancy, family history, and previous gestational diabetes.
Actually, besides those three types of diabetes, there are some specific diabetes mellitus. They include those caused by specific diseases or medications. They mostly resolve when the causes decide.
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