Diabetes has become an epidemic in our world in the last several decades. More children are born with diabetes or develop diabetes in early childhood than many years ago. More adults are developing diabetes as the obesity and poor health habits in our world increase and worsen.
But many of us know very little about this potentially life-threatening disease.
Those with diabetes can live long, happy lives, if their symptoms are controlled and their health is cared for diligently.
However, if you go untreated, the disease can take toes and cause various other serious complications, including a diabetic coma, which leads to death in many cases.
What are the Different Types of Diabetes?
You’ve heard of Type 1 diabetes, and Type 2 diabetes. But scientists in recent years have identified at least five different types of diabetes within these two clusters. It is expected that this new understanding of more precise types of diabetes will be able to help predict the issues a given patient may face, based on their defined type.
Below are the five types of diabetes:
- Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA)
- Severe Insulin Resistant Diabetes (SIRD)
- Severe Insulin Deficient Diabetes (SIDD)
- Mid Age-Related Diabetes (MARD)
- Mild Obesity-Related Diabetes (MORD)
Someone with Severe Insulin Resistant Diabetes is more at risk of kidney complications, for example, than those with other forms of diabetes. Someone with Severe Insulin Deficient Diabetes is at higher risk for diabetic retinopathy than those with other forms of diabetes.
Different forms of testing can help identify the specific diabetes type that a given patient has.
What is Type 1 Diabetes?
Commonly known as juvenile diabetes, diabetes mellitus type 1, or Type 1 diabetes, is one form of diabetes in which the body does not produce as much insulin as the body needs.
Unlike those with obesity or pregnancy related diabetes, the causes for this form of diabetes are unknown. But it is believed that a combination of genetics and environment, or severe damage to the pancreas, which produces insulin for the body, is the most likely cause of Type 1 diabetes.
While Type 1 Diabetes has been considered a disease of childhood, more studies are showing that adults may have some form of Type 1 diabetes as well. As doctors and scientists study this rampant disease more, they are discovering many cases when adults have this disease.
There is no known way to prevent this form of diabetes, and all treatment requires insulin.
Insulin can be administered mechanically through an insulin pump, or manually by self-injection. Managing this condition also requires a diabetic diet, exercise, and close monitoring to prevent complications that might go unnoticed otherwise.
What is Insulin Dependency?
Insulin dependency means that a person with diabetes must receive insulin treatment of some kind, whether its through an insulin pump or injections.
Insulin is the main anabolic hormone in the human body. And this hormone, insulin, is what helps the human body process carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, and promotes the body’s absorption of these crucial nutrients.
Could You or Your Child Have Type 1 Diabetes?
If you notice that you or your child have two or more of these symptoms for more than a couple of days, you should contact your doctor, and request a glucose test immediately.
This disease is not an illness where you can wait around and eventually get it taken care of. Finding out if you have diabetes is literally a matter of life and death – this condition (and your health) can deteriorate at an extremely rapid pace if not caught and controlled by a doctor.
Your doctor can conduct a variety of other tests as well, to understand your health and create the best health plan for your future.
- Increased thirst
- Unintended weight loss
- Frequent urination
- Bed-wetting for kids who haven’t had issues with it in the past
- Mood changes
- Blurred vision
- Extreme hunger
Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms
Type 2 diabetes has many of the same symptoms as Type 1. Some additional symptoms may include:
- Numbness or tingling in your hands or feet
- Slow healing of wounds
Are All Diabetics Insulin Dependent?
Not all those with diabetes are insulin dependent. Some less severe types than Type 1 do not require insulin injections or pumps.
Some diabetics may take oral prescriptions to help regulate insulin production in the body. For others, diet and exercise alone are enough to control the blood sugar levels. Care must be taken to effectively maintain the right diet, however, and it must be held to strictly for long-term maintenance of your health.
However, those with Type 2 diabetes can become insulin dependent. If someone with Type 2 diabetes has problems with their pancreas, and it no longer makes insulin as it once did, that person will require insulin therapy, even if they did not before.
If You Think You Have Diabetes
If you think that you or your child may have diabetes in any form, please immediately consult a doctor and seek treatment to prevent the many complications of Type 1 or insulin dependent diabetes.
If your condition is caught early enough, you may well be able to prevent a great many of the tragic, and often avoidable, complications of diabetes.