Various types of diabetes negatively affect our population. In this article, we would like to discuss diabetes and its symptoms. If you think you may have high blood sugar, please contact your physician and have the proper testing.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease in which the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin is impaired, resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated glucose levels in the blood and urine.
What is Glucose?
Glucose is a simple monosaccharide sugar present in the blood as the primary fuel of the body.
What is Insulin?
Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas. It regulates the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. The lack of insulin causes a form of diabetes.
Now that we understand a little more about diabetes let’s discuss the various forms of diabetes.
How many types of diabetes are there?
Recently a group of researchers in Sweden and Finland published the results of a study that suggested there are five types of diabetes instead of just two. They are as follows:
- Severe autoimmune diabetes.
- Severe insulin-deficient diabetes.
- Severe insulin-resistant diabetes.
- Mild obesity-related diabetes.
- Mild age-related diabetes.
These researchers completed a study with over 13,000 patients and isolated measurements of a number of variables, including insulin resistance, insulin secretion, blood sugar levels, age, and the onset of illness.
Let’s take a closer look at these five types.
Severe Autoimmune Diabetes
This form of diabetes is similar to Type 1. Individuals in this category were relatively young when they were diagnosed. They did not have an overweight problem. They struggled with an autoimmune disease that prevented their pancreas from creating insulin.
Severe Insulin-Deficient Diabetes
These individuals are similar to the type above. They were young when they were diagnosed and did not have a weight problem. They produced little, if any, insulin; however, their immune system was not the cause.
Severe Insulin-Resistant Diabetes
These individuals were overweight and had high insulin resistance. Unlike the two above, their bodies made enough insulin; however, their cells did not respond nor accept the insulin.
Mild Obesity-Related Diabetes
These individuals tended to be overweight or obese. And in this case, the individuals cells didn’t resist the insulin as much. This form of diabetes is a milder case of Severe Insulin-Resistant Diabetes.
Mild Age-Related Diabetes
This form of diabetes is similar to Mild Obesity-Related Diabetes, except that these individuals were older when they were diagnosed. This was the most common form of diabetes, affecting about 40% of the people in the study.
Although this one study isn’t going to change how diabetes is treated, it may help healthcare professionals personalize treatment. For the sake of this article, we will discuss the standard Type 1 and Type 2 forms of the disease.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 affects about 5% of people with diabetes. These individuals are usually diagnosed at a young age. Their pancreas does not produce insulin, and therefore they require daily insulin injections to help break down the glucose in their blood. Unfortunately, this is a lifelong disease and cannot be cured.
Symptoms of Type 1 Include:
– Blurry vision
– Feeling hungry all the time
– Fatigue or lack of energy
– Frequent urination
– Abrupt weight loss
– Feeling thirsty all the time
– Dry mouth
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is referred to as adult-onset or non-insulin-resistant diabetes. These individuals can produce insulin, but the cells do not respond, refusing to let the insulin in. This disease is mainly a disease that affects adults; however, it is rapidly soaring throughout children due to childhood obesity. Sufferers often need medication, insulin, or both. If not caught and treated early enough, the individual can experience other issues. Severe cases may include lose of limbs, blindness, Alzheimer’s or dementia. It’s vital that type 2 diabetics maintain their ideal weight or lose extra weight, eat a proper diet, do regular workouts, to name a few.
Symptoms of Type 2 Include:
– Excessive dryness of mouth
– Feeling thirsty all the time
– Wounds that take ample time to heal
– Recurrent skin infections
– Numbness or tingling in feet and hands
Areas Where Diabetes May Cause Problems
Diabetes can cause problems, which can develop over time. You may not see any symptoms for many years. Diabetes affects the following:
– Memory and cognition
– Blood vessels
– Nervous system
Those with severe cases of diabetes often go through:
– Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease
– Blindness or eye problems
It can even lead to death.
People at Risk of Getting Diabetes
Anyone with a family history of diabetes has a greater risk of having this disease. Those who lead a sedentary lifestyle and are overweight may end up with diabetes. It is essential to keep a healthy body weight. People who have had or currently have polycystic ovarian syndrome, prediabetes, or gestational diabetes are at an increased risk.
If you are experiencing any of these systems, please contact your physician to be tested for diabetes.