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Diabetes Types

Diabetes Types

Most people will clump all diabetes into one disease.  But there are different types of diabetes you need to be aware of.  What is important at this stage is that you know that glucose can mass in your blood for many different reasons, which of course will result in different types of diabetes.  There are two common types of diabetes that most people have heard about:  type 1 and type 2.

Type 1

People have type 1 diabetes when the pancreas makes little if any insulin.  When there is no insulin circulating in the bloodstream, glucose won’t be able to get into the cells, so it stays in the blood.

At one time type 1 diabetes was known as insulin-dependent diabetes, or as juvenile diabetes.  The reason for these names was that most often the disease developed when a person was young, a child or a teen, and required daily insulin shots to make up for the lack of insulin that the body was suppose to produce.

The reason you don’t really hear or read the names, insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes any longer is because they are not really accurate.   It is not common, but adults can develop type 1 diabetes.  Also, the use of insulin isn’t limited to people with type 1 diabetes.  People with other forms of diabetes also may need insulin. 

What Causes Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a auto-immune disease, which means that your own immune system is the bad guy.  Your auto-immune system normally attacks  different viruses and bacteria.  With type 1 it also attacks your pancreas, focusing on your beta cells, which of course are the cells that produce insulin.  Doctors and scientist are not sure why the immune system fights your own body, but genetic factors and exposure to other viruses my play a part.

The attacks on your immune system can reduce or even wipe out  the insulin making ability of your pancreas.  Only 5-10% of people who suffer with diabetes have type 1.  The disease seems to be evenly distributed among males and females.

The evolution of type 1 diabetes can occur very slowly.  It may go undetected for several months or even longer.  Most often is the case that type 1 diabetes symptoms come to your attention very quickly.  Normally following an illness.

Family History Affects Your Risk Of Diabetes

Type 1

Relative with Diabetes       Your Risk

  • Mother                               1-5%
  • Father                                5-15%
  • Both Parents                     0-25%
  • Brother or Sister              5-10%
  • Identical Twin                  25-50%

Type 2

Relative with Diabetes        Your Risk

  • Mother                               5-20%
  • Father                                5-20%
  • Both Parents                     25-50%
  • Brother or Sister              25-50%
  • Identical Twin                  60-75%

Type 2

Type 2 diabetes is the most common for of the disease.  95% of all people that over 20 years old that have diabetes have type 2.  Many people with type 2 diabetes do not need insulin shots.  Children, teenagers, and adults can get type 2 diabetes.  And of course like all things related to diabetes there are no hard and fast rules.  People with type 2 also might need to take insulin shots.

What is Type 2 Diabetes

With type 2 diabetes, your pancreas makes insulin, but your cells become resistant to it.  Which means that insulin can’t help move glucose into your cells.  As a result, most of the glucose stays in your bloodstream and accumulates.  Nobody knows why the cells become resistant to insulin.  But there are suspicions that excess weight and fatty tissue seem to be important factors.  Most people who develop type 2 diabetes are obese or overweight. 

Some people with type 2 diabetes may eventually require insulin shots.  This is because the pancreas may not produce enough insulin, or may lose its ability to make insulin.  There is a possibility that people with type 2 may become dependent on insulin.

Gestational Diabetes

The name of the diabetes disease that develops during pregnancy is called Gestational Diabetes.  The disease can develop temporarily when hormones secreted during pregnancy increase the body’s  resistance to insulin.   You can expect this to occur in about 4% of pregnant women.

Gestational Diabetes will normally occur during the late second half of a women’s pregnancy.  Under normal circumstances it will go away after the baby is born.  A Warning:  About 1/2 of the women who develop gestational diabetes while pregnant will also develop type 2 diabetes later on life.

Doctor’s will screen women for gestational diabetes during their pregnancy.  If you develop the disease then controlling your blood glucose level throughout your pregnancy can reduce complications for you and your baby.

LADA | MODY

Latent autoimmune diabetes of adults (LADA) is a form of type 1 diabetes that develops slowly over many years.  LADA is uncommon, but it can be mistaken for type 2 diabetes.  Maturity-onset- diabetes of youth (MODY) is an uncommon form of type 2 diabetes, caused by a defect in a single gene.

Other Causes Of Diabetes

A very small number of people are diagnosed as a result of conditions or medications that can interfere with the production of insulin.  Included in this:  inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), pancreas removal, adrenal or pituitary gland disorders, rare genetic defects, infection, malnutrition, or medications used to treat another disease.

In our next post we will discuss diabetes signs and symptoms.  We hope you learned a little bit about the different types of diabetes.

Technorati Tags: types of diabetes,type 1 diabetes,type 2 diabetes,casue of diabetes,family history of diabetes,risk of diabetes,gestational diabetes,lada,mody

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