There are 2 main types of diabetes
Most of the symptoms of diabetes are the same for type 1 and type 2 diabetes, although there are differences in the way they develop.
Although US scientists have discovered a type 3 diabetes, it is still undergoing further research.Type 1
In type 1 diabetes the signs and symptoms are usually very obvious and can develop quickly.A common indicator of the presence of type 1 diabetes is a condition called ketoacidosis, which occurs when acid compounds (ketones) form in the blood. If left untreated, ketoacidosis can result in extremely serious complications and even prove fatal.
There is also a sub-type of type 1 diabetes called Brittle Diabetes
Type 2Type 2 diabetes appears mainly in people over the age of 40.
However, signs and symptoms can develop at such a slow rate that people may not recognise they are ill for some time. In addition, some people with type 2 diabetes do not develop any symptoms if their blood glucose level is not too high.
The three major symptoms of diabetes are:Polyuria(frequent urination)
Polydipsia(Increased thirst and fluid intake)
Other common symptoms of the two forms of diabetes include:Sudden weight loss
Blurred visionTingling or numbness in hands or feet
Lack of energy/constant fatigueVery dry skin
Sores and wounds that take a long time o healSkin infections
Genital itching or regular episodes of thrushCramps
Those who think they might have diabetes, or experience any of these symptoms, must visit their Doctor for diagnosis. To help determine whether a person is diabetic or not, a doctor will carry out a routine urine test to see if excess glucose is present and a blood test that measures the level of glucose in the blood.
Early treatment will help relieve the symptoms and also reduce the chances of developing serious health problems.
Type 1:Type 1 diabetes, also known as insulin-dependent diabetes, develops when the body is unable to produce any insulin.
This type of diabetes is also referred to as early-onset diabetes because it usually occurs before the age of 40, often in the teenage years.
Type 1 diabetes is the least common of the two main diabetes types and accounts for only 5 15% of all people with diabetes.
Type 2:Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body is able to produce some insulin, but not enough for it to function properly, or when the cells in the body do not react to insulin - known as insulin resistance.
This type of diabetes is far more common than type 1 diabetes and accounts for 85 - 95% of all people with diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is often associated with obesity. Obesity-related diabetes is sometimes referred to as Maturity Onset Diabetes, or adult-onset diabetes, as it is more common in older people, usually over the age of 40.
However, people of South Asian and African-Caribbean descent can develop the disease after the age of 25. Furthermore, more children are now being diagnosed with the condition, some as young as seven.
Gestational DiabetesGestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a type of diabetes that develops in around 2 to 5% of all pregnancies.
GDM occurs because the body has less ability to produce enough insulin to meet the extra needs of pregnancy.In some women, the condition may have developed before the pregnancy.
This type of diabetes occurs more frequently in women with a family history of diabetes, over the age of 25, part of a minority race and women that are overweight or obese.
Despite disappearing once pregnancy is over, GDM leaves women with a higher risk of later developing type 2 diabetes.
What are the symptoms?In most cases, gestational diabetes has no external symptoms and is detected through screening.
Only rarely do the classic symptoms of diabetes appear: excessive thirst, frequent urination and increased appetite.
However, these are also common symptoms in normal pregnancy.
DiagnosisAn Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) is used to diagnose GDM. An OGTT involves a blood test before breakfast, then again two hours after a glucose drink.
Forum discussion on Glucose Tolerance Tests
Other specific diabetes typesOther types of diabetes can result from specific genetic syndromes, surgery, drugs, malnutrition, infections, and other illnesses.
Such types of diabetes account for around 1 to 2% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.
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