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  • Writer's pictureDr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam

How Many Types of Diabetes?


Diabetes is a condition that affects how your body uses glucose, a type of sugar that is your main source of energy. Glucose comes from the food you eat and is carried by your blood to your cells, where it is used or stored. To help glucose enter your cells, your body makes a hormone called insulin.


However, sometimes your body cannot make enough or any insulin, or cannot use it properly. This causes glucose to build up in your blood, which can lead to various health problems. This is what happens when you have diabetes.

There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Each type has different causes, symptoms, and treatments.


Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, which means your immune system attacks and destroys the cells in your pancreas that make insulin. This leaves you with little or no insulin in your body. You need to take insulin every day to survive.


Type 1 diabetes usually develops in children and young adults, but it can occur at any age. The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown, but it may involve genetic and environmental factors. Lifestyle factors, such as diet and exercise, do not cause type 1 diabetes.

Some of the symptoms of type 1 diabetes include:

  • Increased thirst and urination

  • Hunger

  • Weight loss

  • Fatigue

  • Blurred vision

  • Slow-healing wounds


If type 1 diabetes is not treated, it can lead to a serious condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which happens when your body breaks down fat for energy and produces ketones, a type of acid. This can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, difficulty breathing, and coma.

Type 1 diabetes can lead to serious complications if blood sugars are not properly controlled.


The main treatment for type 1 diabetes is taking insulin injections or using an insulin pump. You also need to monitor your blood sugar levels regularly, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking.


Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. It happens when your body becomes resistant to insulin or does not make enough insulin. This causes your blood sugar levels to rise too high.


Type 2 diabetes usually develops in people over the age of 45, but it can also affect younger people. The exact cause of type 2 diabetes is unknown, but it may involve genetic and environmental factors. Lifestyle factors, such as being overweight or obese, having a sedentary lifestyle, eating unhealthy foods, and smoking can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Some of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:

  • Increased thirst and urination

  • Hunger

  • Fatigue

  • Blurred vision

  • Slow-healing wounds

  • Dark patches on the skin


If type 2 diabetes is not treated, it can lead to serious complications.


The main treatment for type 2 diabetes is making lifestyle changes such as losing weight if you are overweight or obese, eating a balanced diet low in sugar and fat, exercising regularly, and quitting smoking. You may also need to take oral medications or injectable drugs to help lower your blood sugar levels.


Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. It happens when your body cannot make or use enough insulin to meet the increased needs of pregnancy. This causes high blood sugar levels that can affect both you and your baby.


Gestational diabetes usually goes away after you give birth. However, it can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. It can also cause problems for your baby such as being too large at birth (macrosomia), low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), breathing difficulties (respiratory distress syndrome), jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), and birth defects.


Some of the symptoms of gestational diabetes include:

  • Increased thirst and urination

  • Hunger

  • Fatigue

  • Blurred vision

  • Frequent infections


The main treatment for gestational diabetes is controlling your blood sugar levels through diet and exercise. You may also need to monitor your blood sugar levels at home and take insulin injections if needed.


You should also have regular check-ups with your doctor and follow their advice on how to have a healthy pregnancy and delivery.


Other Forms of Diabetes

There are some other rare forms of diabetes that are caused by genetic mutations, diseases of the pancreas, hormonal disorders, or medications. Some examples are:

  • Monogenic diabetes, which is inherited from one or both parents and affects how the body makes or responds to insulin.

  • Cystic fibrosis-related diabetes, which is caused by a disease that affects the lungs and pancreas and leads to poor digestion and absorption of nutrients.

  • Steroid-induced diabetes, which is caused by taking high doses of steroids for a long time and affects how the body uses glucose.

  • Drug-induced diabetes, which is caused by taking certain medications that interfere with insulin production or action.


These forms of diabetes have different symptoms and treatments depending on the underlying cause. You should consult your doctor if you suspect you have any of these conditions.


Summary

Diabetes is a serious condition that affects how your body uses glucose. There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Each type has different causes, symptoms, and treatments. If you have diabetes or are at risk of developing it, you should follow your doctor’s advice on how to manage your blood sugar levels and prevent complications. You should also adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes eating well, exercising regularly, and avoiding smoking. By doing so, you can live a long and fulfilling life with diabetes.


Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)

Internal Medicine Specialist


Kify Hospital

Danavaipeta

Rajahmundry

Phone : 85000 23456

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