Most people know of two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. But did you know that there are other types of diabetes? And that even more types may be invented? In this blog you will discover the different types of diabetes and the associated treatment.
DIABETES TYPE 1
Type 1 diabetes is a chronic autoimmune disease. This means that your body will attack 'itself' and you will not be able to heal. In type 1 diabetes, your immune system attacks the cells that make insulin, preventing your body from making insulin on its own. In order not to get too high blood sugar values, you must therefore inject insulin yourself with an insulin pen or insulin pump. Type 1 diabetes is not the result of an unhealthy lifestyle or eating a lot of sugar. The exact cause is not yet known, but a lot of research is being done.
Complaints: very thirsty, urinating a lot, losing weight, tired, blurred vision, feeling sick
Treatment: Injecting insulin and checking blood sugars
Lada is a form of type 1 diabetes. It develops slowly and is therefore often discovered in adults. Lada is often mistaken for type 2 diabetes at first, but like type 1 diabetes, it is an autoimmune disease that cannot be cured. Because it is often mistaken for type 2 in the beginning, people with Lada are sometimes prescribed tablets. This works less well and therefore must be done quickly after the correct diagnosis be switched to insulin.
Complaints: same as type 1 diabetes, only they develop more slowly
Treatment: Injecting insulin and checking blood sugars
MODY diabetes is a hereditary form of diabetes. It stands for Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young and usually starts with young people between the ages of 10 and 25. MODY is caused by a defect in one gene and is therefore hereditary. In MODY diabetes, the pancreas does not release enough insulin, which can cause blood sugar levels to become too high. It therefore sometimes resembles type 1 and sometimes type 2. There are several forms of MODY, of which the best known MODY types are 1, 2, 3 and 5.
Complaints: a lot of thirst, a lot of urination, sometimes cysts, losing weight and sometimes no complaints
Treatment: tablets, sometimes insulin or no treatment required
Neonatal diabetes is a rare form of diabetes that occurs in babies within the first 6 months after birth. It is a hereditary form of diabetes may be confused with type 1 diabetes, but is actually different. In neonatal diabetes, a duct in the pancreas no longer works properly. It can be remedied by swallowing tablets. Adults who find out that they have neonatal diabetes instead of type 1 diabetes no longer need to inject insulin and have enough tablets.
Complaints: a lot of urination, a lot of thirst, as a child cannot keep up well or develop too late
MIDD stands for Maternally Inherited Diabetes and Deafness. As the name suggests, it is a form of diabetes that is associated with hearing loss. MIDD is a rare form of diabetes that can be passed on from the mother to a child. The severity of the disease depends on the amount of 'mistakes' that are genetically transmitted. People are on average 30 years old when they develop diabetes and on average 40 years when their hearing starts to deteriorate.
Complaints: similar to type 1 diabetes, sometimes shorter height, less muscle strength, muscle cramps or almost no complaints in the beginning
Treatment: tablets, insulin and possibly a hearing aid
DIABETES TYPE 2
Type 2 diabetes is the most common and this type is therefore the best known. In type 2 diabetes, your body is insulin resistant, which means that your body no longer properly absorbs the insulin it produces. As a result, you get high blood sugar levels. The cause of type 2 diabetes varies. You may be genetically predisposed to type 2 diabetes or the cause may be lifestyle. In some cases, people can be cured of type 2 diabetes. Often mainly when the cause is an unhealthy lifestyle.
Complaints: very thirsty, a lot of urination, eye discomfort, wounds not healing well, shortness of breath, pain in the legs
Treatment: tablets, insulin or lifestyle changes
Prediabetes is a preliminary phase of type 2 diabetes. Your blood sugars are already a bit higher, but not so high that you have diabetes. By losing weight, eating healthy and/or exercising, you can often prevent you from actually developing diabetes. If you don't do anything, prediabetes can eventually become type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes is also harmful to your blood vessels.
Complaints: a lot of urination, a lot of thirst, tired, blurred vision
Treatment: exercise more, eat healthy, possibly lose weight
Gestational diabetes remains a special phenomenon. As soon as you are pregnant you suddenly have diabetes and after the pregnancy it is over. With gestational diabetes, your body responds less well to the insulin that your body produces, so that too much sugar remains in your blood. Your baby will become too big as a result, making the delivery slanderous. Also, the baby may turn yellow or have low blood sugar after birth. Both the baby and the mother are more likely to have type 2 diabetes.
You are more likely to have gestational diabetes if you have had it before, if you are overweight, if you have a family member with type 2 diabetes, if you have PCOS or if you are of Hindu, Arab or North African descent.
Complaints: tired, very thirsty, urinating a lot or no complaints
Treatment: adjusted diet, checking blood sugars and in some cases injecting insulin.
DIABETES TYPE 3C
Type 3C diabetes occurs when the pancreas is damaged by, for example, surgery or inflammation. The pancreas is then no longer able to produce enough insulin, leaving too much sugar in the blood.
Complaints: very thirsty, urinating a lot, losing weight, tired, blurred vision, feeling sick, difficulty digesting food
Treatment: tablets or insulin
BONUS: TYPE F
Scientists can now close their eyes, because type F is not an official type. Type F diabetes stands for 'Family'. Because if someone gets diabetes, it also affects his or her environment. The family also has a little bit of diabetes. 😉
That was quite a list of types of diabetes! And we probably haven't had everything yet. After all, 'new' types are still being discovered. Are we missing another type? Let us know!