Types of Diabetes
Diabetes types consist of: gestational diabetes; diabetes mellitus with three versions diabetes mellitus 1, diabetes mellitus 2 and type 3; pre-diabetes; and diabetes insipidus.
Gestational diabetes – only when pregnant.
Diabetes Mellitus 2 (Diabetes 2) – adult onset diabetes.
Diabetes Mellitus 1 (Diabetes 1) – childhood diabetes.
Type 3 Diabetes (aka Diabetes Type 1.5) – type 1 + type 2.
Prediabetes – imminent onset of diabetes..
Diabetes Insipidus – unrelated to mellitus.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I am a diabetic. Everything in this article is from a personal point of view. If you are, or think you may be, diabetic, then you should consult your medical practitioners for their diagnosis, treatment and advice.
Types of Diabetes
For a long time diabetes was assumed to be one disease. Now we know that it takes several forms. All diabetes types are fundamentally similar, but differ in many important ways.
The two main forms are Diabetes Mellitus Type 1 (childhood diabetes) and Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 (adult onset diabetes). There are other less common types of diabetes as well. Both of the main forms are characterised by deficient glucose absorption into cells. As a result, they share many symptoms.
A less common form is gestational diabetes which, by its name alone you will recognise as being exclusively (as of 2021) for women, occurs in pregnancy, and disappears after childbirth.
There is even pre-diabetes, which is characterized by a raised sugar level in the blood, but which does not show itself as full-blown diabetes. It is the warning sign. Always take note of this condition, and do something about it, before you require medication.
You will probably have heard mention of different types of diabetes. They all have the same diabetic signs associated – excess sugar in blood and urine – but the condition is caused by different factors affecting your body.
Detect Prediabetes Before It Becomes Full Diabetes
Main Types of Diabetes
How common is each type of Diabetes Mellitus?
It has been reported that the ratio between diabetes type 2 and type 1 diabetes mellitus approximately follows the 90:10 rule
- Type 2 diabetes = 90% or so of total of diabetics
- Type 1 diabetes = 10% or less of the total of diabetics
- Other types of Diabetes mellitus make up a negligible proportion of diabetics.
As the understanding increases this ratio may change. There is no doubt there are a significant number of misdiagnoses that place diabetics into the type 2 category, because that is the most likely type. Be aware that this is a dangerous situation, as the medication required for treatment is different for each type of diabetes.
If you believe you have been misdiagnosed you should consult your medical support team.
Before You Get Diabetes
Diabetes – Types of Diabetes
Here is a brief outline of each of the types of diabetes:
This is where a higher than usual blood-glucose reading is present.
This increase may not have been registered yet. The only way to understand when pre-diabetes is present is to monitor blood glucose levels on a regular basis to see when changes occur.
- Type 1 diabetes – once known as ‘childhood diabetes’ and ‘juvenile diabetes’.
The pancreas loses its ability to create insulin – leading to insulin deficiency and supplementary insulin-dependence.
It is also known as IDDM (Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus).
The medical profession have identified two sub-types:
- Type 1A – Immune Mediated
A clever way of saying an auto-immune attack.
- Type 1B – Idiopathic
A clever way of saying ‘we don’t know it’s origin’.
- Type 1.5 diabetes – aka LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults)
This is insulin-deficient diabetes that manifests itself in adults, but where insulin is not immediately required.
It is also known as ‘slow onset type 1 diabetes’.
To confuse things more it is aka ‘type 3 diabetes‘.
- Type 2 diabetes – aka NIDDM (Non-Insulin-Dependant Diabetes Mellitus).
This is the type characterised by high blood-glucose, caused by insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency.
Also known as ‘adult onset diabetes’ or ‘maturity onset diabetes’.
The latter is confusing as there is also another diabetes form known as MODY.
- Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young or MODY
This is an hereditary form of type 2 diabetes that develops in young adults.
The various hereditary causes have been, to date, classified as MODY1 through MODY6.
- Type 3 diabetes – aka hybrid- and double-diabetes.
This is also described as diabetes type 1.5.
The reason for the confusion is that type 1.5 is described as being a condition with attributes between type 1 and type 2 .
For type 3 it is described as having both type 1 and type 2 attributes (1 + 2 = 3).
Type 3 is differentiated as the brain stopping production of insulin or a reduced capacity for brain-cells to accept brain-secreted insulin.
- Gestational diabetes – GDM (Gestational Diabetes Mellitus).
This is where a high glucose level develops in pregnancy when no diabetes was present beforehand.
- Diabetes Insipidus – DI.
This should not be confused with diabetes mellitus.
Although symptoms are similar, it is the function of the pituitary and its secretions, rather than the pancreas and insulin, that is the cause.
It is caused by several factors each having it’s own nomenclature:
- Central Diabetes Insipidus – caused by damage to the pituitary gland
- Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus – drug induced damage
- Dipsogenic Diabetes Insipidus – where the thirst mechanism is compromised
- Gestational Diabetes Insipidus – where the placental hormones destroy the hormone that controls blood pressure and re-absorption of water by the kidneys.
Rather than be aware of the types of diabetes, it is more important to know the symptoms, in order to make an informed assumption that you may have diabetes.
A full diagnosis can only be made by a qualified medical practitioner.
References for Diabetes Types
Diabetes Types – Conclusion
There are a number of types of diabetes, each with its own causes, but each with similar signs and symptoms.
- Type 1 diabetes mellitus
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Type 3 (or Type 1.5) diabetes mellitus
- Gestational diabetes
- Diabetes insipidus
These are the most notable.
As scientific research moves on apace, additional sub-forms are identified and researched further.
These new findings are more related to the causes of diabetes than to the symptoms that are manifest for each main type.
Glossary of Terms
Diabetes mellitus type 1 is a form of diabetes mellitus that results from autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. The subsequent lack of insulin leads to increased blood and urine glucose.
Diabetes mellitus type 2 formerly non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus or adult-onset diabetesis a metabolic disorder that is characterized by high blood glucose in the context of insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency.
Gestational diabetes is a condition in which women without previously diagnosed diabetes exhibit high blood glucose levels during pregnancy. There is some question whether the condition is natural during pregnancy.
Prediabetes is the state in which some but not all of the diagnostic criteria for diabetes are met. It is often described as the “gray area” between normal blood sugar and diabetic levels.
Diabetes insipidus is a condition characterized by excessive thirst and excretion of large amounts of severely diluted urine, with reduction of fluid intake having no effect on the concentration of the urine.
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