Types of diabetes

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What is type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes?

Types of diabetes

There are 3 primary types of diabetes:
1) Type 1 - insulin-dependent diabetes
2) Type 2 - non-insulin-dependent
3) Gestational diabetes

Type 1 diabetes can affect people of any age, and tend to be genetically influenced. When it occurs in persons under the age of 18, it is called Juvenile Diabetes. In this type of diabetes, the body is lacking insulin, either from failure of the insulin-producing cells to produce insulin, or an adequate supply of insulin.

This results in high levels of circulating blood sugar and symptoms of hyperglycemia -- warmth and flushing of the face, dizziness, hunger, thirst and frequent urination. This type of diabetes requires insulin to facilitate the transport of sugar into the cells of the body for use as fuel.

Type 2 diabetes does not require the use of insulin, and can frequently be controlled with weight loss, changes in diet and oral anti-diabetic agents. With Type 2 disease, the insulin-producing cells are not producing enough insulin to aid in the sugar transport into the cells, or the body is unable to use the insulin that is produced. This is called "insulin resistance."

In this case, medications can improve the interaction between the insulin and the receptor sites on the cells to enable transport of sugar into the cells for use as fuel.

Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy and is normally limited to the pregnancy period and a few months afterwards. This may be related to the increased stress, changes in hormones, and differences in diet and physical activity associated with pregnancy. This can usually be controlled with dietary interventions and, rarely, insulin.

Ask your doctor for information on the type of diabetes you have and the best way to treat it.



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