Diabetes – Its types
There are various types of diabetes, some of which are more prevalent than others. The most common form of diabetes in the general population is Type 2 diabetes, which often develops from pre-diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is more common in children and Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that can occur during pregnancy.
Type 1 Diabetes
It is usually caused by an auto-immune reaction where the body’s defense system attacks the cells that produce insulin. People with Type 1 diabetes need insulin therapy to survive. The disease may affect people of any age, but usually develops in children or young adults. People with this form of diabetes need injections of insulin every day in order to control the levels of glucose in their blood. Type 1 diabetes symptoms have the tendency to develop rapidly within weeks or months.
The commonly observed symptoms are:
- Increased thirst and urination
- Constant hunger
- Weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Extreme tiredness
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, can go unnoticed and undiagnosed for years. It used to be called non-insulin dependent diabetes or adult-onset diabetes, and accounts for at least 90% of all cases of diabetes. It is characterized by insulin resistance and/or relative insulin deficiency. The diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes can occur at any age.
Type 2 diabetes may remain undetected for many years, and the diagnosis is often made when a complication appears or a routine blood or urine glucose test is done. It is often, associated with overweight or obesity, which itself can cause insulin resistance and lead to high blood glucose levels. People with Type 2 diabetes can often initially manage their condition through exercise and diet. However, over time, most people will also require oral drugs and/or insulin.
It is important to remember that while Type 1 diabetes may develop suddenly and can be diagnosed, the symptoms can often be mild or absent in people with Type 2 diabetes, making this type of diabetes hard to detect.
If you have Type 2 Diabetes, you may experience:
- Constant fatigue
- Prolonged illness
- Frequent urination (especially at night)
- Increased thirst and hunger
- Unexplained weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Frequent infections
- Slow wound healing
- Skin darkening