Metabolic Health

What Are The Different Types Of Diabetes?

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

Types of Diabetes

Diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus, is a metabolic disease where your body produces an excess amount of sugar. When you have diabetes, your body cannot produce enough insulin, a hormone that regulates the sugar levels in your body. The most common type of diabetes is type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The most common causes of diabetes in general are obesity, inactive lifestyle, insulin resistance, genes, and family history.

1. Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a common type of diabetes where your pancreas produces little to no insulin. As a result, your sugar levels cannot be controlled. The main cause of type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune reaction of your body where it destroys the insulin-making cells in the pancreas called beta cells. As a result, your body produces excess glucose. Type 1 diabetes is also caused by genes or certain viruses. The symptoms of type 1 diabetes are frequent urination, excessive thirst, fatigue, hunger, and blurred vision. You are at higher risk of getting type 1 diabetes, if you are white, have a family history of type 1 diabetes, or are younger than 20 years of age.

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2. Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is caused when your body cannot use insulin in the way it should. It is a lifelong disease and is mainly seen in middle-aged or older adults. If asked what is the most common type of diabetes, it is type 2 diabetes. The causes of type 2 diabetes are excessive weight, genes, metabolic syndrome, damaged beta cells, and excess glucose production in your liver. The symptoms of type 2 diabetes are thirst, fatigue, yeast infection, unexplained weight loss, and frequent urination. You are at high risk of type 2 diabetes if you are 45 years or above, prediabetic, have high blood pressure, or have a family history of type 2 diabetes.

3. Prediabetes

Prediabetes is a condition when you have a blood sugar level between 100 and 125 mg/dL. The causes of prediabetes are the same as type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes is the stage before type 2 diabetes. The symptoms of prediabetes are the same as type 2 diabetes but you might also have darkened body parts such as armpits, groin, and neck. You are at a high risk of getting prediabetes if you are overweight, leading an inactive life, have a family history of type 2 diabetes, or if you have gestational diabetes.

4. Gestational Diabetes

If you want to know which type of diabetes occurs only during pregnancy, the answer is gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a kind of diabetes that affects pregnant women. However, the blood glucose level becomes normal after childbirth.

5. Maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY)

Maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY) is one among which type of diabetes is rare among people. It is caused by a mutation in your genes which prevents the pancreas from producing enough insulin. The symptoms of MODY are the same as type 1 and type 2 diabetes, although the treatment might be different. You are at a high chance of getting MODY if it runs in your family.

6. Neonatal Diabetes

Neonatal diabetes or Mellitus or NDM affects infants in the first 6 months of their life. It is monogenic or is controlled by a single gene. The infants cannot produce enough insulin and therefore have high levels of blood glucose. NDM is caused by genetic mutations or genetic inheritance from either father or mother. The symptoms of NDM are frequent urination and dehydration. Certain severe symptoms of NDM are ketoacidosis and intrauterine growth restriction.  Infants who are born to mothers with diabetes, infants who are born prematurely, or infants with low birth weight are at risk of neonatal diabetes.

7. Alstrom Syndrome

If you ask which type of diabetes is the worst, the answer will be Alstrom syndrome. Alstrom syndrome is a condition that is characterised by type 2 diabetes, loss of hearing and vision, obesity, short stature, and cardiomyopathy. It might also lead to a skin disease called acanthosis nigricans where the skin becomes dark, thick, and velvety. It is caused by a mutation in the ALMS1 gene. Alstrom syndrome is genetic and 9000 people worldwide have been affected by it.

8. Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA)

Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults or LADA is similar to type 1 diabetes. It is caused by the inability of the pancreas to produce sufficient insulin. But unlike type 1 diabetes, you might not need insulin for a long time because LADA progresses slowly. The symptoms of LADA are increased urination, thirst, fatigue, dry skin, and high levels of sugar in the urine. You are at high risk of getting LADA if you are overweight, if you are physically inactive, if you were low weight at birth and if you smoke and drink.

9. Type 3c Diabetes (or Pancreatogenic Diabetes)

Type 3c can be called the 3rd type of diabetes or pancreatogenic diabetes. It is caused by the pancreas' inability to produce insulin because of an injury, illness, surgery, or complete removal of the pancreas. The symptoms of type 3c diabetes are stomach pain, unexplained weight loss, diarrhoea, or frequently passing wind. People suffering from pancreatic conditions are more at risk of getting type 3c diabetes.

10. Steroid-induced Diabetes

You can develop steroid-induced diabetes when long-term consumption of steroids causes insulin resistance. As a result, your cells stop responding to insulin and blood glucose levels begin to rise. The symptoms of steroid-induced diabetes are the same as type 1 and type 2 diabetes. People who are on steroids for the long term are at high risk of developing steroid-induced diabetes.

11. Cystic Fibrosis Diabetes

The most common type of diabetes in people with cystic fibrosis (a genetic condition) is cystic fibrosis diabetes. It is caused by the build-up of sticky mucus on the pancreas causing inflammation and scarring. As a result, the cells get damaged and cannot produce enough insulin, leading to elevated glucose levels. The symptoms of cystic fibrosis diabetes are weight loss, chest infections, and fatigue. People with cystic fibrosis are at high risk of developing cystic fibrosis diabetes.

Bottomline

Different kinds of diabetes are caused by different reasons. Although diabetes is not curable, it can be controlled for a better quality of living. You can manage your diabetes with a regular checkup, a healthy diet, and medication. An active lifestyle with regular exercise can also help you to control and manage a healthy blood glucose level.

FAQs

1. Which Type of Diabetes is rarest among people?

Maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY) and Alstrom syndrome are types of diabetes that are rare among people.

2. Which Type of Diabetes is most dangerous?

Alstrom syndrome is a rare but more dangerous type of diabetes because it can lead to hearing and vision loss, cardiomyopathy, and a short life expectancy.

3. How common is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a common disease nowadays, with approximately 537 million adults living with diabetes presently.

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