What type of diabetes do you have? Ever feel like you can’t see the forest for the trees? Here I provide some information on types of diabetes. The most common type is diabetes type 2 or diabetes mellitus, but there are several other types.
Some individuals don’t have high enough resting blood sugars (blood glucose) to technically be diagnosed with diabetes, but they are too high to be normal. These individuals are considered to have impaired glucose intolerance or insulin resistance. If you read several different websites or blogs, you will likely see several different definitions for pre-diabetes, and I’m not aware of an official diagnosis classification which is widely accepted for pre-diabetes. This means that a lot of people will be disagreeing with one another about pre-diabetes, but it is still important to be aware of.
Diabetes Type I
Diabetes type I is associated with complete lack of insulin. There are specific cells in the pancreas that produce and release insulin. In diabetes type I these cells are destroyed and no insulin is produced. Type I diabetics need insulin daily. Type I diabetes is usually developed in youth, but may be developed later in life.
Diabetes Type II
Diabetes type II is associated with insulin resistance. In this type of diabetes the cells in the pancreas are still there and they are usually still producing insulin. The cells in the body are becoming progressively resistant to the insulin, this is referred to as ‘insulin resistance.’ Medication taken by type II diabetics can range from diet-controlled (no-medication) at one end to insulin at the other.
Gestational diabetes is something that is developed due to an imbalance of hormones during pregnancy. After delivery gestational diabetes usually corrects itself within six weeks. Women who have gestational diabetes and deliver a child with a birth weight over nine pounds are more likely to develop diabetes later in life.
Diabetes Type III
Diabetes type III is somewhat controversial and is still being studied. Diabetes type III is also called diabetic encephalopathy. Encephalopathy means pathology of the brain and is non-specific. There are some indications that Alzheimer’s disease is linked to diabetes type III, or that diabetes type III is a precursor for Alzheimer’s.
There are multiple types of diabetes insipidus. In short this disorder is one where you may need to drink excessive amounts of water and produce dilute urine. Diabetes insipidus has a similar name, but is not related to the other types of diabetes above.