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Types of Diabetes

Types of Diabetes

We notice that many people tend to use artificial sweeteners made of sucrose, especially in their diet, to help control their blood sugar levels, and these are diabetics! 

As you ingest carbohydrates, the body converts it into sugar, named glucose, which diffuses into the bloodstream. The pancreas produces insulin hormones, which allows you to store the blood glucose into the cells and muscles; for energy.  

The diabetic body does not utilize or produce insulin-like; it should when treatment is not received. When so much glucose accumulates in the blood, generally referred to as high blood sugar, there can be severe or even life-threatening health problems.

Diabetes chart. Symptoms of high blood sugar include frequent urination, increased thirst, and increased hunger. Education info graphic

Who gets diabetes?

Diabetes Mellitus is not a contagious disease, and it is non-transmittable between humans. However, many factors increase the risk of developing diabetes. 

Types of diabetes

There are three primary types of diabetes which people are classified into, these are:

  • Type 1 diabetes. 
  • Type 2 diabetes. 
  • Gestational or Pregnancy diabetes. 

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease which are diseases that occur when the body’s immune system works against organs of the body.

When you have diabetes, your immune system attacks and destroys the beta cells of the islets of Langerhans, which are responsible for insulin synthesis in the pancreas.

As a result, the pancreas produces very little insulin, or it may stop doing the synthesis at all. Therefore, a person with type 1 diabetes must receive insulin daily throughout his life.

Until now, scientists do not know what the exact reason that causes the body’s immune system to attack beta cells is, but they believe that the factors driving this disease include:

  • Heredity. 
  • Environmental factors. 
  • Virus involvements. 

Symptoms

Most of the time, type 1 diabetes begins to develop in children and young adults, but it can appear at any age. Typically, symptoms of type 1 diabetes appear within a short period.  This is even though beta cell destruction sometimes begins many years before symptoms appear.

Such symptoms include:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Constant hunger
  • Low weight
  • Blurred vision
  • Extreme fatigue

If type 1 diabetes is not diagnosed and treated, the patient may enter a state of coma, which can lead to death. This is referred to as ‘Ketoacidosis.’

Type 2 diabetes

This type of diabetes is the most common type of diabetes among people; it occupies between 90-95% of all patients with diabetes.

This type of diabetes is usually associated with advanced age, obesity, genetics, and family diabetic history, personal medical record (cases of gestational diabetes, for example), physical inactivity, and ethnicity. Overweight individuals weigh around eighty percent of type 2 diabetics. 

Patients who have type 2 diabetes are characterized by the pancreas producing a sufficient amount of insulin, but the body, for reasons that are not understood, is not able to use insulin effectively and benefit from it; this condition is known as “Insulin Resistance.”

After several years, insulin production decreases, and the patient’s condition becomes similar to that of type 1 diabetes patients, as glucose builds up in the blood. The body cannot use its energy source, glucose effectively.

Diabetes mellitus affected organs

Symptoms

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes begin to appear and develop gradually. Like type 1 diabetes, it does not appear suddenly. Some symptoms are similar to those in type 1; these symptoms include:

  • Fatigue or nausea. 
  • Frequent urination. 
  • Abnormal thirst. 
  • Low weight. 
  • Blurred vision. 
  • Frequent infections. 
  • Slowed healing of injuries and wounds.

Some patients, however, have no symptoms at all. 

Pregnancy / Gestational diabetes

Women develop gestational diabetes only during pregnancy. As is the case with type 2 diabetes, this type of diabetes is the most common type of diabetes among women of African-American, Indian-American, and Latino-American origins, as well as among women with a family history of diabetes.

During pregnancy, high levels of glucose in the blood can be harmful to both the mother and the child. This increases the risk of high blood pressure, preeclampsia, congenital disabilities, and sometimes miscarriage and stillbirth.

Women with gestational diabetes have a twenty to fifty percent chance of having type 2 diabetes within 5 to 10 years of age.

In conclusion

Type 1 diabetes affects men and women in the same proportion. As for type 2 diabetes, it is most prevalent among the elderly, especially those who suffer from excess weight. The third type, pregnancy diabetes, targets women who have a higher risk of being infected with the disease during their pregnancies. 

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