What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a group of disease or a metabolic disorder in which the body either does not produce enough or any insulin or is not able to utilize the insulin produced by the body. This lack of insulin or non-utilization of insulin leads to the condition where sugar from the blood is not able to get properly transferred to the cells. This condition leads to higher blood sugar levels in the body.
Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas and helps to transfer sugar/glucose from the blood to the cells in the body. In simple terms, it stores the blood glucose in our muscles, tissues and liver. It plays a crucial role in the metabolism of carbohydrate, protein and fat in our food.
Types of Diabetes:
There are mainly 3 types of Diabetes – Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational Diabetes. There are 2 other forms of diabetes- LADA and MODY.
Type 1 diabetes is mainly believed to an auto immune condition. In this, your immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the beta cells in your pancreas that produce insulin. The damage is usually permanent. No clear evidence has been identified to be the root cause.
The body does not produce any insulin. A person with Diabetes Type 1 has to take insulin from outside. They can take various types of insulin ranging from Rapid acting, short acting, intermediate ac
ting, long acting or regular insulin.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which body becomes insulin resistant. The body is not able to utilize the insulin produced in the body to transfer the glucose from the blood to the cells and tissues in the body leading to higher blood sugar levels. A person with Type 2 diabetes can easily put their diabetes into remission with the right changes in their lifestyle.
LADA is Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in adults. It is a slow progressing form of autoimmune Diabetes. It is also called as Diabetes 1.5. LADA occurs because your pancreas stops producing enough insulin and gradually may stop producing insulin. It typically effects adults above 30 years. It diff
ers from Type 1 diabetes as in this condition, the body produces insulin for few years before stopping to produce insulin.
MODY is Maturity-Onset Diabetes of the Young. MODY is the name given to a collection of different types of inherited forms of diabetes that usually develop in adolescence or early adulthood. It typically happens in people below 25 years of age. MODY is a “monogenic” disease. This means it is caused by a single gene mutation. It forces pancreas to produce less insulin. It may not require one to take insulin. Some people also call it as Diabetes Type 3.
Gestational Diabetes develops in pregnant women who earlier didn’t have diabetes. Pregnant women who can't make enough insulin during late pregnancy develop gestational diabetes. Being overweight or obese is linked to gestational diabetes. Women who are overweight or obese may already have insulin resistance when they become pregnant. Gaining too much weight during pregnancy may also be a factor.
In all forms of Diabetes, it is very important to take right lifestyle changes to lead to control and quality of life.