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How many types of diabetes are there?

High blood glucose (or blood sugar) levels are the hallmark of diabetes, a metabolic disease that affects the kidneys, eyes, nerves, heart, blood vessels, and blood sugar levels over time.


In particular, diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder of carbohydrate metabolism distinguished by impaired insulin synthesis or responsiveness in the body, which aids in maintaining normal blood sugar levels (glucose).


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that in 2019 there were 1.4 million new cases of diabetes among adults (18 and older). However, from 477.5 per 100,000 in 2004 to 418.1 in 2017, the death rate among 65-year-olds with diabetes mellitus as an underlying or contributory cause decreased. During this time, the death rate was highest among non-Hispanic black adults and lowest among non-Hispanic white people.



How many types of diabetes are there?


There are four main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, gestational diabetes, and prediabetes (diabetes while pregnant).


Type 1 Diabetes


Formerly known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes. An autoimmune response is assumed to be the etiology of Type 1 diabetes. This occurs because your body attacks the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas. This reaction stops your body's production of insulin. To survive, we all require insulin. It accomplishes a crucial task. It enables the blood glucose to feed our body by getting into our cells.


If you have type 1 diabetes, your body will continue to convert the carbohydrates in food and drink into glucose. However, there is no insulin to let the glucose into your body's cells when it reaches your bloodstream. The result is an increase in blood glucose levels as more and more glucose accumulates in the bloodstream.


Compared to Type 2, Type 1 diabetes is substantially less common. According to the CDC, Type 1 diabetes affects between 5% and 10% of adults with diabetes. Type 1 diabetes symptoms frequently appear suddenly. Typically, it is discovered in kids, teenagers, and young adults. You must take insulin daily to stay alive if you have type 1 diabetes. People who have a close relative with Type 1 diabetes are more vulnerable. There is currently no cure for type 1 diabetes.


Type 2 Diabetes


With type 2 diabetes, the insulin your pancreas produces cannot function properly, or your pancreas can't make enough insulin. This indicates that your blood sugar (glucose) levels continue to increase.


Type 2 diabetes accounts for the great majority of cases. The prevalence of diabetes patients (90–95%) is type 2. It takes years to develop, and adults are typically diagnosed with it (but more and more in children, teens, and young adults). If you are at risk, it is crucial to have your blood sugar tested because you might not exhibit any symptoms. It is a severe condition that may last a lifetime.


If type 2 diabetes is left untreated, excessive blood sugar levels can harm several body organs, such as your feet, heart, and eyes. These are referred to as diabetes complications. You can, however, manage type 2 diabetes well with the proper care and medication. In addition, by altering their behavior, such as by reducing weight and eating better, many patients with Type 2 diabetes can lower their blood sugar levels.


Gestational Diabetes


Pregnant women are the main ones affected by gestational diabetes. Women who have never before experienced diabetes are affected. Pregnant women who have excessively high blood sugar levels may develop this disease. If you have gestational diabetes, your unborn child may be more susceptible to health issues. Usually, it returns to normal after delivering birth. Between 24 and 28 weeks into pregnancy, a blood test is typically used to diagnose it. However, it raises your chance of developing type 2 diabetes in later life. Additionally, your child has a higher chance of growing up obese and going on to acquire type 2 diabetes.


Gestational diabetes affects between 2% and 10% of all pregnancies in the United States each year, according to the CDC. Therefore, you must take extra precautions to look after both you and your growing baby while you are pregnant and have high blood sugar. This entails eating healthfully and being active.


Prediabetes


Prediabetes can be a precursor to Type 2. When you are diagnosed with prediabetes, it implies your blood sugar levels are higher than average but not yet high enough to meet the criteria for Type 2 diabetes. For example, your grades would range between 5.7% and 6.4% on an A1C test.


According to the 2020 National Diabetes Statistics Report from the CDC, 88 million Americans have prediabetes. Men are more likely than women to have it. Sadly, the CDC believes that up to 84% of people with prediabetes are ignorant that they have it. As a result, you may be unaware that you have prediabetes. The risk is that you won't take action to stop it before it develops into Type 2 diabetes.



Even though these four forms are the most well-known, Diabetes UK lists additional forms of diabetes, including:


Maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY)


Maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY) is a rare kind of diabetes that differs from type 1 and type 2 diabetes and runs strongly in families. A single gene mutation (or alteration) is what leads to MODY. Any offspring of a parent who carries this gene mutation has a 50% chance of inheriting it. No matter their weight, lifestyle, ethnicity, or other factors, if a child does inherit the transformation, they will typically develop MODY before age 25.


Unlike type 1 and type 2 diabetes, MODY is highly uncommon; according to specialists, the UK's population with diabetes ranges from 20 to 40,000 persons who have it. But since MODY is so unusual, doctors might not be aware of it; therefore, it's believed that 90% of those who have it initially receive a false positive for type 1 or type 2 diabetes.


Neonatal diabetes


Diabetes that is detected in infants less than six months is called neonatal diabetes. Since type 2 diabetes is not an autoimmune disease, it differs from type 1 diabetes, which is more prevalent (where the body has destroyed insulin-producing cells).


A gene alteration that impairs the synthesis of insulin leads to neonatal diabetes. This indicates that the body's blood glucose (sugar) levels substantially increase. However, less than 100 persons have been diagnosed with neonatal diabetes in the UK, making it a highly unusual condition.


Wolfram Syndrome


Due to its four most prevalent symptoms, the uncommon genetic illness Wolfram Syndrome is sometimes known as DIDMOAD syndrome (Diabetes Insipidus, Diabetes Mellitus, Optic Atrophy, and Deafness).


Although it's not an autoimmune disease, this kind of diabetes is managed in the same way as Type 1 diabetes, which includes insulin injections, blood testing, a healthy balanced diet, and regular physical activity.


Because the posterior pituitary gland (located at the base of the brain) isn't producing enough of the hormone vasopressin, the body cannot concentrate urine at this point. As a result, you have extreme thirst, frequent urination, and highly diluted urine. Diabetes insipidus affects about half of persons with Wolfram Syndrome.


Wolfram Syndrome results in color blindness and a progressive loss of vision as the optic nerve withers away. Furthermore, hearing loss affects roughly two-thirds of those who have Wolfram Syndrome.


Alström Syndrome


A variety of common characteristics can be found in the rare genetically inherited illness known as Alström Syndrome. These characteristics include photophobia and nystagmus in children with retinal degeneration (extreme sensitivity to light).


Even young babies might have poor eyesight, and cumulative vision loss can cause blindness. This illness frequently includes kidney failure, obesity, insulin resistance, and hearing loss. Additionally, they often experience orthopedic and rheumatic issues like short stature, spondylitis (excessive spine thickening), arthritis, and spine curvature.


Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA)


A kind of diabetes that resembles both type 1 and type 2 diabetes is known as latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA). Different parts of it are more like type 1 and type 2, respectively. Because of this, some people refer to it as type 1.5 or type 1 ½ diabetes.


Although it isn't now recognized as a distinct kind of diabetes, scientists are working to identify the precise characteristics that set it apart from type 1 and type 2 diabetes.


LADA shares many of the same symptoms as both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, including frequent urination, extreme thirst, extreme fatigue, and weight loss. However, in contrast to type 1, they typically develop much more gradually, over months than weeks. And contrary to what you might anticipate for type 2, the symptoms are more noticeable and frequently appear sooner.


Steroid-induced Diabetes


Corticosteroids are another name for steroids. They are synthetic versions of hormones that your body naturally produces. High blood glucose (sugar) levels can result from steroids. Because of this, some individuals who use steroids later acquire diabetes. Steroid-induced diabetes is more prevalent in persons at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and is known as such.


Your blood sugar level might rise from steroids in several ways. They can decrease the body's sensitivity to insulin, increase the amount of glucose the liver releases, and prevent muscle and fat cells from absorbing glucose from the blood. These factors could all result in too much glucose remaining in your blood. Diabetes may result from this.


Cystic fibrosis diabetes


People with cystic fibrosis are more likely to develop cystic fibrosis diabetes than other types of diabetes. Although type 1 or type 2 diabetes can occur in patients with cystic fibrosis, cystic fibrosis diabetes is a distinct illness. In patients with cystic fibrosis, it is the most prevalent kind of diabetes. Although it shares traits with type 1 and type 2, there are distinctions in its development and management.


The pancreas may become inflamed and scarred due to the accumulation of sticky mucus by cystic fibrosis. High blood sugar levels and insulin-producing cell damage may result from this. The condition known as cystic fibrosis diabetes occurs when the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to control blood sugar levels. Still, this condition can be treated by diet, insulin injections, and exercise.


Reducing your risk of developing diabetes


Some, but not all, of the risk factors for various kinds of diabetes are under your control. However, talk to your healthcare professional about your risk for diabetes if you have any of these risk factors. The sooner you can step in to help, the better. Don't let delays or setbacks overwhelm you; instead, create attainable goals and stick to your schedule.


These actions, together with glucose management, can be helpful:


  • Adhere to a nutritious diet plan that gives you the required nutrition without raising your blood sugar levels. Frequently, this entails limiting carbohydrates. To get assistance with meal preparation, speak with a licensed dietician.
  • Retain a healthy weight for your body. If you're overweight, decreasing just 5%–10% of your body weight will help you lower your insulin resistance and improve your blood sugar levels.
  • Eat smaller portions. Educating yourself on serving sizes and tips, such as a 3 oz, is essential. The amount of meat is roughly the size of your hand. It's easy to overeat without even realizing it.
  • Work out for 30 minutes or more five days a week. Once you get there, you can use this to shed a few pounds and keep them off. Additionally, exercise reduces your risk of developing diabetes-related conditions like heart disease and nerve damage. According to the CDC, exercise increases your body's insulin sensitivity. So, instead of the elevator, use the stairs or get up and move around while on the phone.
  • Give up smoking. Smokers with diabetes are more prone than non-smokers to experience difficulties with insulin doses and maintaining their illness. Quitting smoking also improves how your body uses insulin, which might simplify controlling your blood sugar levels.
  • Avoiding alcohol. The damage to a person's pancreas by diabetes cannot be reversed. However, refraining from alcohol helps slow the evolution of your diabetes by lowering the frequency of chronic pancreatitis attacks and preventing further harm to the cells that produce insulin.

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