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Types of Diabetes

In 2020 World Diabetic Statistics, in India alone 77 million people were found to be diabetic out of the 463 million people affected globally. India is often ranked top in diabetic population due to genetic factors, environmental factors linked with urbanization.

Diabetes is a long lasting health condition where it affects how your body processes your food into energy. The food you eat is mostly broken down into sugar (glucose) and absorbed into the blood stream. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that helps glucose from your food to be taken up by your cells to use as energy.

It can develop at any age and depending on the how your body produces insulin – it is majorly of two types: type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

SYMPTOMS

Symptoms vary on the blood sugar type. Symptoms are not usually identified early in the type 2 diabetes, but are quick in the case of type 1 diabetes.

Some of the signs and symptoms include:

  • Increase in hunger and thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Slow healing sores
  • Frequent infections to the gums, skin or vaginal area
  • Vision problems

TYPES OF DIABETES

Diabetes is mainly of 4 types:

  1. Type 1 diabetes
  2. Type 2 diabetes
  3. Prediabetes
  4. Gestational diabetes
Type 1 diabetes

This is a type of autoimmune disease, meaning your body attacks itself, resulting in no production of insulin.

It is also known as juvenile or insulin-dependent diabetes. It usually develops in children, teens and young adults however, it can also occur at any age.

This type of diabetes is less common than type 2 diabetes i.e. it comprises of just 5-10% of diabetic population. It can be treated with a combination of medications and lifestyle adjustments.

Type 2 diabetes

With this type, your body either produces insufficient insulin or your body cell’s fail to respond to insulin. This is the most common type of diabetes seen in adults (up to 95% of diabetic population), however it is also observed to be developing in teens and young adults.

Prediabetes

This is a condition where your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not close enough for it to be categorized as type 2 diabetes.

It is usually seen in adults who are overweight and are aged 45 or above.

Gestational diabetes

This type develops in some women during pregnancy. Blood sugar levels are usually under control after pregnancy, whereas some women go on to develop type 2 diabetes.

DIABETES RISK FACTORS

Common risk factors of diabetes include:

  • Overweight or obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Family history
  • Age (usually above 45)
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • High blood pressure
  • Environmental factors (some viral illnesses play role in development of type 1)
  • Weaker immune system
  • High cholesterol levels

DIAGNOSIS & TREATMENT

Diagnosis to find out any blood sugar type can be done with the help of diabetes tests, such as:

  • HbA1c test
  • Fasting blood sugar test
  • Random blood sugar test

Treatment includes monitoring your diabetes to achieve and sustain normal blood sugar levels with the help of medication, healthy diet and physical activity.

Dizziness or lightheadedness, or unsteadiness

Nausea

Vomiting

Headache

FAQ's :

Yes, recent advancement in genetics has made it possible to detect diabetes possibility in adults having with any of the diabetic risk factors.

Type 2 diabetes has shown stronger link to family history than type 1.

Family history is one of the risk factors of diabetic occurrences. Talk to your healthcare provider and they will consider overall risk factors and guide you further.

In very rare cases, people are born with diabetes. This is called neonatal diabetes. It usually disappears once the child is 12 months old, however it can return in the later years of life.

References:

Diabetes Tests. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/getting-tested.html

Accessed on 22-06-2022

  1. Diabetes: An Overview. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/7104-diabetes-mellitus-an-overview

Accessed on 22-06-2022

  1. Types of diabetes. Diabetes UK. https://www.diabetes.org.uk/diabetes-the-basics/types-of-diabetes

Accessed on 22-06-2022

  1. What is Diabetes? National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/what-is-diabetes

Accessed on 22-06-2022

  1. Diabetes. Diagnosis. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20371451

Accessed on 22-06-2022

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