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About Diabetes

Some basic information about the different types of diabetes

Type 1

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease usually found in children and young adults, though it also occasionally manifests in adults. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. As a result, the pancrease produces little to no insulin to convert sugars and starches into energy.

Juvenile Diabetes

Juvenile diabetes, also known as type 1 diabetes, occurs when a child's pancreas produces little to no insulin to turn sugars and starches from what they eat into energy. This autoimmune disease causes the body's immune system to attack and destroy insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, also known as beta cells. Many hold the mistaken belief that type 1 diabetes is caused by poor diet and little exercise, but children with type 1 diabetes are born with this disease. These individuals are dependent on insulin injections or an insulin pump for the rest of their lives, or until a cure is found.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes. It is a growing epidemic that was usually found in adults, but is now growing in the younger generation with poor eating habits and few physical activities. For type 2 diabetics, the pancreas still produces insulin, but not enough to convert the sugars and starches they consume into energy they need each day.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes occurs in about 2 to 10% of pregnant women who develop high blood sugar during the 24th week of pregnancy. During this time of the pregnancy it's most critical to get tested because the placenta is producing large amounts of hormones that could cause insulin resistance. This form of diabetes will usually last until the baby is born, but if not monitored, women are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

This type of diabetes, like other types, affects how the cells in your body turn sugar and starches into energy. Gestational diabetes in particular causes high blood sugars that can affect the mother and baby.

Symptoms include sugar in urine, constant thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, nausea, frequent infections of the bladder, vagina, and skin, and blurred vision.

If gestational diabetes is not treated or managed affects on the mother and baby include large birth weight, premature delivery, increased chance of cesarean delivery, and slight increased risk of fetal and neonatal death.

By eating healthy foods, exercising and using medication if necessary, expecting mothers can control their risk of type 2 diabetes.


LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes)

Latent autoimmune diabetes accounts for roughly 10% of people with diabetes, and is also known as type 1.5 diabetes. It has the characteristics and symptoms of both type 1 and 2 diabetes. LADA is often misdiagnosed as type 2 because of the age people start seeing symptoms, but it is a slow progressing disease like type 1, where eventually the body attacks insulin producing cells. LADA is diagnosed by age, the gradual increase in the need of insulin, positive antibodies, low C-peptide, lack of family history of type 2 diabetes, and insulin resistance medication being ineffective. Treating LADA patients is the same as treating type 1 diabetes.

Researchers are currently working out criteria for a type 1.5 diagnosis. It is likely to include the presence of auto-antibodies in the blood, adult age onset, and a lack of need for insulin treatment in the early stages. This criteria is still under debate as research continues.


Monogenic Diabetes (Maturity-Onset Diabetes of the Young: MODY)

Monogenic diabetes (MODY) is a rare form of diabetes that results in the mutation of a single gene versus how both type 1 and 2 diabetes develop in multiple genes. MODY occurs in families where a single gene is passed on by affected parents to their children called Autosomal Dominant Inheritance. Children of affected MODY parents have a 50% chance of inheriting the gene and developing MODY.

There are 30,000 individual genes in the human body, and 20 have been linked to monogenic diabetes. As of now six genes have been identified to cause MODY, but each change in these genes leads to a different type of MODY. These types are as follows HNF1A , Glucokinase , HNF1B , HNF4A , IPF1, and NEUROD1.

This type of diabetes is not necessarily treated by insulin but can be managed through diet and tablets.


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