Know your diabetes

Newly diagnosed patients with diabetes are usually very confused about their condition and have many questions running through their minds. So, it’s always good to know your diabetes first.

For many years, people are discussing two types of diabetes, ie, Type 1 and Type 2… But there are many other types diagnosed these days and they are :

  • Type 1
  • Type 2
  • Type 1.5 ( Diabetes LADA)
  • Type 3
  • Diabetes MODY
  • Double diabetes 
  • Brittle diabetes 
  • Secondary diabetes 
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Diabetes Insipidus

Among these Type 1 and Type 2 are the most discussed and others are rarely found or some are in one way or other related to T1D and T2D…

Let me discuss all of these briefly-

Type 1 Diabetes-

  • T1D is an autoimmune disease in which insulin producing cells in the pancreas are damaged by the antibodies, which causes lack of insulin in the body leading to high blood glucose levels..
  • Earlier T1D was known as Juvenile diabetes because it was believed that it is diagnosed only in children but the fact is, it is found in adults too, so named as Type 1..
  • Insulin is the only treatment to T1D.. This is the fact which every Type 1 patient should know that there is no cure for T1D and they have to depend on insulin for their lifetime.

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Type 2 Diabetes-

  • T2D is a metabolic disorder in which your body is unable to utilise insulin properly and causes high blood glucose levels. This is called as insulin resistance.
  • Earlier T2D was known as Non Insulin dependent or maturity onset diabetes but this not the case because insulin is prescribed in some patients where it is difficult to control blood glucose levels with anti-diabetic drugs and also it is not confined to older people but found in young adults and teens also, so named as Type 2.
  • Anti-diabetic drugs are usually prescribed to T2D patients, but in some cases insulin is also recommended because of high blood glucose levels.
  • There are many risk factors for T2D like obesity, unhealthy diet, stress, lack of physical movement etc, still in many cases it has some genetic factors too.

Type 1.5 (Diabetes LADA)-

  • Diabetes LADA stands for Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adulthood or it is sometimes called as Type 1.5 as it resembles symptoms of both T1D and T2D. 
  • It resembles T1D as the body destroys its insulin producing cells over a period of time and require insulin for controlling blood glucose levels.
  • It is confused with T2D because the disease develops over a period of years and is often diagnosed at the age of 30-35 years.
  • Treatment of Diabetes LADA is insulin, it can be postponed for sometime in some cases, but eventually need insulin.

Type 3 Diabetes-

  • It is a new type of diabetes in which insulin resistance in brain leads to Alzheimer’s disease.

Diabetes MODY-

  • This type is very rare and entirely different from T1D, T2D and Diabetes LADA. It is found to be caused by gene mutation causing improper insulin production.
  • Treatment of diabetes MODY relies on diet and exercise in some cases and on Suphonylureas(Anti-diabetic drugs) in others.

Double diabetes-

  • This condition is found when a patient with T1D develops insulin resistance. In this, body is unable to utilise the insulin which is administered from outside, so the patient has to take anti-diabetic drugs and follow treatment for both T1D and T2D, hence called double diabetes.
  • Obesity is found to be the cause of insulin resistance in T1D. 

Brittle diabetes-

  • This condition is caused when there is difficulty controlling diabetes especially T1D. It is also called as Labile diabetes. In this case there are frequent episodes of hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemia, unlike the ones in a stable diabetes where the episodes are less often.
  • This develops due to stress or any other psychological reasons like depression. Other reasons may include problems in intestine, celiac disease or gastroparesis. 
  • Treatment of this type is treating the underlying cause of fluctuations in blood glucose levels.

Secondary diabetes-

  • This type is caused as a result of some other medical condition in the body like chronic pancreatitis, pancreatectomy, polycystic ovary syndrome(PCOS), pancreatic cancer etc.
  • Treatment depends on the functioning of pancreas, for example, if there is no insulin production at all from pancreas then patient has to depend on insulin and if there is insulin resistance then anti-diabetic drugs would control the diabetes.

Gestational diabetes-

  • This is the type of diabetes that appears at the time of pregnancy. It is usually diagnosed in the second trimester of pregnancy and disappears after child birth.
  • Proper diet and exercise are highly recommended along with anti-diabetic drugs and insulin where needed.

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Diabetes Insipidus-

  • This is a very disorder characterised by persistent excretion of excessive quantities of dilute urine and increased thirst.
  • It is caused by lack of hormone called as ADH or Vasopressin, secreted by hypothalamus in the brain which constantly regulates and balances the amount of water in your body.
  • Treatment usually includes drinking enough water to prevent dehydration and drugs depending upon the underlying cause like desmopressin, aspirin, ibuprofen etc.

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