Three Major Types of Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes, formerly called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is usually first diagnosed in children, teenagers, or young adults. In this form of diabetes, the beta cells of the pancreas no longer
make insulin because the body's immune system has attacked and destroyed them. Treatment for type 1 diabetes includes taking insulin shots or using an insulin pump, making wise food choices, exercising regularly, controlling blood pressure and cholesterol,
and taking aspirin daily-for some.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes, formerly called adult-onset or non-insulindependent diabetes, is the most common form of diabetes. People can develop type 2 diabetes at any age, even during childhood. This form of diabetes usually
begins with insulin resistance, a condition in which fat, muscle, and liver cells do not use insulin properly. At first, the pancreas keeps up with the added demand by producing more insulin. In time, however, it loses the ability to secrete enough
insulin in response to meals. People who are overweight and inactive are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Treatment includes taking diabetes medicines, making wise food choices, exercising regularly, controlling blood pressure and cholesterol,
and taking aspirin daily (for some).
Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
Some women develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Although this form of diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born, a woman who has had gestational diabetes is more likely to develop type
2 diabetes later in life. Gestational diabetes is caused by the hormones of pregnancy or a shortage of insulin.
Some of the Key Risk Factors for Diabetes
- Obesity – being overweight puts you at risk
- Age – as we get older we are more at risk of developing diabetes
- Family History – having a parent, brother or sister with diabetes increases your chance
- Cultural/ethnic background – diabetes frequently occurs more in some ethnic groups, including African American and Hispanic/Latino
- Bad dietary habits – routinely eating food high in cholesterol, sodium and unhealthy fats
- Lack of physical activity – exercising fewer than three times a week
- High blood pressure and/or high “bad” cholesterol – these risks are shared for cardiovascular disease, which itself is a risk factor for diabetes.
- Having had gestational diabetes, or giving birth to at least one baby weighing more than 9 pounds
- Having polycystic ovary syndrome, also called PCOS (women only)
- Having impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)
- Other clinical conditions associated with insulin resistance, such as a condition called acanthosis nigricans, characterized by a dark, velvety rash around neck or armpits
Diabetes is serious. Health problems caused by diabetes can include:
- Heart attack and stroke
- Eye problems that can lead to trouble seeing or going blind
- Nerve damage that can cause your hands and feet to hurt, tingle, or feel numb. Some people may even lose a foot or a leg.
- Kidney problems that can cause your kidneys to stop working
- Gum disease and loss of teeth