There are three different types of diabetes which can affect individuals. Two of these are what are commonly called sugar diabetes. The medical terms for these are Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. The third type of diabetes is water diabetes or diabetes insipidus.
Type 2 diabetes is a complex medical condition that results in increased blood sugar from the body’s resistance to insulin. In other words, there is not a depletion of insulin in the body but rather a problem with the insulin being used at the cellular level. This results in an increased amount of blood sugar in the blood stream which significantly damages the eyes, heart, kidneys and brain. (1)
The medical terminology that describes high blood sugar is hyperglycemia. It is estimated that over 15 million people in the United States out of the 17 million who suffer from diabetes experienced Type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is also sometimes called non-insulin-dependent diabetes because it changes the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and protein without shutting off the production of insulin. (2)
The resistance to insulin is the major reason that complications occur. This condition can go under diagnosed, especially when it does not cause extremely high blood sugar and symptoms can be attributed to any other underlying medical condition.
Treatment for Type 2 diabetes is also different from Type 1 diabetes because many people are able to control their condition with weight loss, diet, exercise and lifestyle changes.
In the past decade there is that an introduction of new oral medications that can also delay the use of injectable insulin once lifestyle changes are no longer effective.
Researchers have found that diabetics who have been experiencing symptoms less than 10 years and you are able to incorporate lifestyle changes can use oral hypoglycemic options for years before requiring insulin. (3)
Type 1 diabetes is also called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes. Treatment of this condition should be best addressed by a team of specialists which can include the child, the parents, a nutritionist, and an endocrinologist as well as others who are well-versed in treating youngsters with diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes results when the islet cells which produce insulin in the pancreas completely shut down in the body no longer has insulin available.
Insulin is responsible for moving blood sugar into the cells so that energy can be produced. This is the powerhouse of the cellular system and what feeds the body and allows it to work correctly. (4)
Without insulin the sugar builds up in the bloodstream and eventually spills over into the kidneys. The build-up of sugar results in complications which include loss of eyesight, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and nerve damage. Blood sugar will often be higher in individuals who have Type 1 diabetes then individuals who suffer from Type 2 diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association estimates that approximately 1.5 million people have Type 1 diabetes in the United States today. The exact cause of this condition is not known but many believe that it is the result of an infectious agent or a toxic insult to the immune system. It is not caused by obesity, diet or lack of exercise, which is what may trigger Type 2 diabetes.
More frequently the symptoms of Type-1 diabetes will occur suddenly and must be addressed as an emergency situation to prevent tragic results. Such as frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, extreme weakness or fatigue, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, lethargy and drowsiness and a fruity odor to the breath.
New treatment protocols developed in Alberta Canada involve transplantation of islet cells without the use of steroids to prevent rejection. This new technique has resulted in seven out of seven patients who have functioning islet cells without rejection or medications to prevent rejection for over one year! (5)
Diabetes insipidus is another form of diabetes that is not as well publicized and does not involve the metabolism of sugar. Instead it is a metabolic medical condition that involves a large excretion of urine because the kidneys lose their ability to concentrate the urine and returned fluid to the body. It is caused by a lack of anti-diuretic hormone that controls the ability of the kidney to concentrate urine. (6)
There are actually four different types of diabetes insipidus and all need to be treated differently. The most common cause is a lack of vasopressin, which is produced by the pituitary gland. The goal is to treat the diabetes insipidus to prevent dehydration and then find the reason for the destruction of the pituitary gland so that it can also be addressed.
About half of the time diabetes insipidus is caused by reasons that aren’t known or cannot be identified.
“The condition is permanent but there are medications which can easily control the symptoms. Individuals will continue to have several restrictions even though medication will help them stay under control.”
They must make good efforts to prevent dehydration and must always take their medication in order to be able to live a normal lifestyle.
(1) University of Maryland Medical Center: Diabetes
(2) American Diabetes Associations: Diabetes Statistics
(3) Diabetes Journal: Trends in Use of Oral Hypoglycemic Agents
(4) American Diabetes Association: Diabetes Basics
(5) University of Illinois At Chicago :Promising Advances in Islet Cell Transplants for Diabetics
(6) U.S. National Library of Medicine: Diabetes Insipidus