Beyond Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes
You’ve probably heard of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. But did you know there are several other types as well? As we get into Diabetes Awareness Month, it’s a great time to learn about the various forms of this extraordinarily common disease—and how they might affect you and your loved ones.
What we refer to today as “diabetes” was originally named “diabetes mellitus”— a marriage of the greek verb diabeinein which means “to go through,” and the Latin noun mellitus, meaning “sweet.” Recently, we’ve gained a better understanding of how diabetes develops, which has caused a series of re-classifications. Here, we’ll provide an overview of some of these classifications and their defining characteristics.
Ultimately, diabetes is a disease in which sugar regulation goes awry. Every cell in our body uses sugar as an energy source; however, too much or too little sugar can be problematic. Our bodies control the amount of sugar in the blood via a series of different proteins. One of these proteins is a hormone known as insulin, which is made in the pancreas and circulates throughout the body. This hormone helps cells remove sugar from the bloodstream. Diabetes develops when this regulatory system is disrupted; the factors leading to this disruption are what differentiates the various forms of diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes (T1D)
About 5-10% of people with diabetes have what is referred to as Type 1 diabetes (T1D). This form of the disease was once known as “juvenile diabetes” because it was typically diagnosed if a person showed symptoms of diabetes during ch Continue reading