Diabetes Awareness: Differences Between Type 1 and 2

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is the condition representing the disorder of metabolism. Diabetes results when there is disorder in the usage of digested food for the growth and energy. The food taken by many people gets broken into glucose in the blood. Glucose is considered as a major fuel base for the body. Once the digestion is completed, the glucose enters the blood stream, where it is utilized by the cells for the purpose of growth and energy. Insulin released by the pancreas,helps in the entry of glucose from the blood into the body cells.

When a person eats, right amount of insulin is released by the pancreas to make the glucose travel from the blood into the cells. In diabetics, insulin is not produced or produced very little by the pancreas. Sometimes, the body cells will not be able to respond properly to insulin. Hence, glucose levels increase in the blood, enters into the urine and later gets out of the body through urine. Therefore, the fuel source will be lost by the body in spite of its presence in large amounts in the blood.

Types of Diabetes

There are three types of diabetes. They are type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

This is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune disease results when the immune system or the fighting system of the body attacks the body parts. In the case of diabetes, the immune system fights against the beta cells that are producing insulin. The beta cells will not be able to produce insulin or produce verylittle of insulin, after the autoimmune attack. People suffering from type1 diabetes have to take insulin everyday all through their lifetime.

The researchers are not able to identify what exactly is causing the body immunity to invade the beta cells. They believe that probably viruses or environmental factors or genetic factors or autoimmune factors are involved. It is estimated that type1 diabetes prevails in about 5 to 10 percent of the people diagnosed with diabetes in the United States. Type1 diabetes is mostly seen developed in children and young adults, though there is no exact age restriction for it.

The type1 diabetes symptoms develop and increase for a short period while the destruction of beta cells might begin way back. The usual symptoms are urination, enhanced thirst, blurred vision, weight loss, constant hunger and extreme hunger. Type 1 diabetes will lead to diabetic coma, if it is not treated with insulin. Diabetic coma is also called as diabetic ketoacidosis.

Type 2 Diabetes

This is a very common condition seen in the population. Type 2 diabetes constitutes 90 to 95 percent of people suffering from diabetes. Type2 diabetes is most often associated with family, diabetes history, obesity, older age, physical inactivity, ethnicities and previous history of gestational diabetes. It is studied that nearly 80 percent of type2 diabetics are obese. In certain groups like African-Americans, Pacific Islander youth and Mexican Americans, type2 diabetes is seen in children and adolescents. Duringthe diagnosis of type2 diabetes, the insulin production is normal by the pancreas. The body cells will not be able to make use of insulin properly. This condition is termed as insulin resistance. Production of insulin decreases after a few years.

The type2 diabetes symptoms are developed slowly. The beginning of type2 diabetes is not abrupt as in the case of type1 diabetes. Some of the symptoms of type2 diabetes are weight loss, slow healing of wounds or sores, enhanced hunger and thirst, weight loss, frequent urination, blurred vision, and fatigue. Few people do not experience any symptoms.

Gestational Diabetes

The diabetes that develops during the advanced pregnancy is termed as gestational pregnancy. This type of diabetes will not remain after the birth of the baby. The women who had gestational diabetes are found to have 50 to 60 % chances of developing type2 diabetes within 5 to 10 years period. Type2 diabetes occurrence can be prevented by maintaining normal body weight and by being physically active.

According to the United States statistics, 3 to 8 % of women were estimated to develop gestational diabetes.

Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults

Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults is simply called as LADA. This condition is found to be showing the signs and symptoms of type1 and type2 diabetes. LADA is usually diagnosed in people aged above 30 years. The research studies have revealed that among type2 diabetics, ten percent were found to have LADA. It is also believed that LADA is another form of gradual development of type1 diabetes as the patients were found to have antibodies against pancreatic beta cells producing insulin.

In the earlier stages of LADA, people can manage insulin and in turn glucose levels in their body without any injections by proper planning of meals, oral medications and physical activity. After a few years, they will have to take insulin injections. As the disease advances, the pancreas will not be able to produce insulin any more as the immune system might have attacked the beta cells and destroyed them leading to type1 diabetes.

Genetic defects of beta cells

Monogenic form of diabetes is caused by the mutations or alterations in the single gene. The mutation in the gene in many cases of monogenic diabetes is considered as inherited. In the other cases, the mutations are spontaneous. These mutations are known for their ability to decrease the capacity of the body to produce insulin. The two forms of monogenic diabetes are NDM and MODY.

NDM is one form that is found to appear during the early months of life. Insulin is not produced by the infants having NDM condition. MODY is observed to begin in adolescents or young adults and might be diagnosed after a long time.

The other forms of diabetes include

  • Diabetes due to the genetic deficiencies in the activity of insulin
  • Pancreatic diseases leading to diabetes
  • Endocrinopathies leading to diabetes
  • Medications leading to diabetes
  • Infections causing diabetes
  • Diabetes influenced by immune disorders
  • Diabetes associated with genetic syndromes

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