There are many different types of diabetes with the two most common being: Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. Each type of diabetes has its own causes, symptoms, and treatments.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the body has difficulty regulating the amount of glucose, or sugar, in the blood. In the UK alone, more than 4.3 million people are living with diabetes.
Understanding the differences between the different types of diabetes is important for managing the disease and reducing the risk of complications. Here you can learn more about each type of diabetes in more detail, including its causes, symptoms, and treatment options.
What are the types of diabetes?
There are many different types of diabetes, with some being more common than others. The three main types of diabetes are:
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. This results in a lack of insulin, which is necessary for glucose to enter cells and provide energy. Type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed in children and young adults but can occur at any age. People with Type 1 diabetes require daily insulin injections or the use of an insulin pump to manage their blood sugar levels.
Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which the body becomes resistant to insulin or does not produce enough insulin. It is the most common type of diabetes, accounting for about 90-95% of cases. Type 2 diabetes is often associated with lifestyle factors such as obesity, physical inactivity and a high sugar diet. People with Type 2 diabetes may be able to manage their blood sugar levels through lifestyle changes, but sometimes medication is required.
While these are two main types of diabetes, others are rarer. According to Diabetes UK, approximately 2% of people live with these additional types:
Maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY)
MODY is a rare form of diabetes that is usually diagnosed before the age of 25. It is caused by mutations in certain genes that affect the body’s ability to produce insulin. MODY is often mistaken for Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, but it is a distinct type of diabetes that requires specific treatment.
Wolfram Syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that causes diabetes, along with vision and hearing loss, and neurological problems. It is caused by mutations in the WFS1 gene, which affects the function of the pancreas.
Alström Syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that affects multiple organ systems, including the pancreas. It can cause diabetes, vision and hearing loss, heart and liver problems, and other health issues.
Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA)
LADA is a type of diabetes that shares features of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. It is caused by an autoimmune response that slowly destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. LADA is often misdiagnosed as Type 2 diabetes but requires different treatment approaches.
Type 3c diabetes
Type 3c diabetes is caused by damage to the pancreas, often as a result of chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer or pancreatic surgery. It is a rare form of diabetes that can be difficult to diagnose and manage.
Steroid-induced diabetes occurs as a result of long-term use of steroid medications, such as those used to treat inflammation, autoimmune diseases or cancer. Steroids can cause insulin resistance and impair the pancreas’ ability to produce insulin, leading to high blood sugar levels.
Cystic fibrosis-related diabetes
Cystic fibrosis-related diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs in people with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder that affects the lungs and digestive system. It is caused by damage to the pancreas and requires careful management to avoid complications.
No matter what type of diabetes you have, managing your condition is essential for staying healthy and avoiding complications. With the right care and support, people with diabetes can lead full, active lives and enjoy a better quality of life. Here are some tips for managing diabetes:
- Monitor your blood sugar levels regularly: Checking your blood sugar levels regularly can help you keep track of your condition and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.
- Follow a healthy diet: Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help you manage your blood sugar levels and maintain a healthy weight. Focus on whole foods, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein, and limit your intake of processed and high-sugar foods.
- Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help you control your blood sugar levels, improve your cardiovascular health and reduce your risk of complications. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, most days of the week.
- Take your medication as prescribed: If you have been prescribed medication such as insulin or oral medications, be sure to take it as directed by your GP.
- Manage stress: Stress can affect your blood sugar levels and make it harder to manage your diabetes. Try to find ways to manage stress, such as meditation, yoga or deep breathing exercises.
- Get regular check-ups: Regular check-ups with your healthcare provider can help you stay on top of your condition and detect any complications early.
Living well with diabetes
Diabetes is a complex and challenging disease that affects millions of people worldwide. There are many different types of diabetes, each with its own causes, symptoms, and treatment options. Understanding the differences between the types of diabetes is essential for managing the disease and reducing the risk of complications to your health.
At The Good Care Group, we understand the challenges of living with diabetes and are committed to providing high-quality care to those who need it. Our expert carers are trained to provide personalised care and support to people living with diabetes, helping them manage their blood sugar levels, monitor their health, and prevent complications.
If you or a loved one is living with diabetes and needs support at home, contact us today to learn more about our highly-personalised diabetes care at home. Our team of experienced professionals is here to help you manage your condition and enjoy a better quality of life.