Diabetes Mellitus is commonly referred to as diabetes. It is a term used to refer to conditions that affect how the body turns food into energy. When you eat carbs, the body converts them to a sugar called glucose, which is released into the bloodstream.
The pancreas releases a hormone called insulin that helps move the glucose from the bloodstream to the cells for energy. When you have diabetes, the body cannot convert the glucose in the bloodstream to energy since it does not use insulin as it should. This can cause life-threatening issues and complications.
It is important to note that there is no treatment for diabetes. You can, however, manage the condition with lifestyle changes and treatment and live a long, productive life. Diabetes comes in different forms depending on the cause. Here is a look at the different types of diabetes:
Prediabetes is when your blood sugar is higher than average but not high enough for your doctor to diagnose diabetes. Studies show that more than a third of the people in the United States have the condition but do not know it.
The condition is likely to develop into diabetes type 2 or health diseases. It can, however, be reversed by exercising and losing some weight.
Type 1 Diabetes
Also referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile-onset diabetes, type 1 diabetes often starts in childhood. It is an autoimmune condition when the body attacks the pancreas with its antibodies. This leads to organ damage hence no production of insulin.
Your genes are most likely responsible for type 1 diabetes, which can also occur because of the problems with the cells responsible for making insulin. Type 1 diabetes is associated with health problems such as damage to the tiny blood vessels in the nerves, eyes and kidneys. Patients with type 1 diabetes have a higher risk of developing heart disease or stroke.
Type 2 Diabetes
Also referred to as adult-onset or non-insulin dependent diabetes, type 2 diabetes is now more common in teens and children over the past 20 years. This is mainly because more young people are obese or overweight. Almost 90% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.
With type 2 diabetes, your pancreas creates insulin, but it is not enough for the body, or the body does not use it as it should. This is referred to as insulin resistance, where your cells do not respond to the insulin produced in the body. This often happens in the muscle, liver and fat cells.
Type 2 diabetes has fewer complications than type 1 diabetes, but it still causes serious health complications, especially in the small blood vessels in the eyes, kidneys and nerves. It also raises the risk of stroke and heart disease.
People who are overweight are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes which is often followed by other health problems. Obesity also causes insulin resistance, so your pancreas will need to produce more insulin which may not be enough to keep your blood sugar levels where they should be.
Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy when the mother’s body develops insulin resistance. In most cases, doctors spot it in the middle of the pregnancy. It is essential to protect the baby from gestational diabetes since the woman’s blood sugar develops through the placenta to the baby.
Gestational diabetes often goes even after birth, where 10% of the women with gestational diabetes get type 2 diabetes weeks or years after pregnancy. It is important to note that gestational diabetes poses a considerable risk to the baby than the mother.
The baby might be born with an unusual weight before birth, have trouble breathing during birth and be at a higher risk of diabetes and obesity later in life. Additionally, the mother might need to give birth through the cesarean section for the considerable baby and might also have damage to their kidney, heart, eyes, and nerves.
Other Types of Diabetes
Other conditions might also cause Diabetes Mellitus. Some of these conditions include certain surgeries, the disease of the pancreas, certain infections, and medications. These causes may warrant your doctor to closely monitor your blood sugar levels to avoid serious health complications.