Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Types of diabetes

The following list describes the three main types of diabetes:

✓ Type 1 diabetes: This used to be called juvenile diabetes or insulindependent
diabetes. It mostly begins in childhood and results from the
body’s self-destruction of its own pancreas. The pancreas is an organ of
the body that sits behind the stomach and makes insulin, the chemical
or “hormone” that gets glucose into cells where it can be used. You can’t
live without insulin, so people with type 1 diabetes must take insulin
shots. Of the 24 million Americans with diabetes, about 10 percent have
type 1.

✓ Type 2 diabetes: Once called adult-onset diabetes, type 2 used to begin
around the age of 40, but it is occurring more often in children, many of
whom are getting heavier and heavier and exercising less and less. The
problem in type 2 diabetes is not a total lack of insulin, as occurs in type
1, but a resistance to the insulin, so that the glucose still doesn’t get into
cells but remains in the blood.

✓ Gestational diabetes: This type of diabetes is like type 2 diabetes but
occurs in women during pregnancy, when a lot of chemicals in the mother’s
blood oppose the action of insulin. About 4 percent of all pregnancies are
complicated by gestational diabetes. If the mother isn’t treated to lower
the blood glucose, the glucose gets into the baby’s bloodstream. The baby
produces plenty of insulin and begins to store the excess glucose as fat in
all the wrong places. If this happens, the baby may be larger than usual and
therefore may be hard to deliver. When the baby is born, he is cut off from
the large sugar supply but is still making lots of insulin, so his blood glucose
can drop severely after birth. The mother is at risk of gestational diabetes in
later pregnancies and of type 2 diabetes as she gets older.

✓ Other types: A small group of people with diabetes suffer from one of
these much less common varieties of diabetes:

• Latent autoimmune diabetes on adults (LADA), which has characteristics
of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes
• Genetic defects of the beta cell, which makes insulin
• Medications that affect insulin action like cortisol or prednisone
• Diseases or conditions that damage the pancreas like pancreatitis
or cystic fibrosis
• Genetic defects in insulin action

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