1)Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the insulin-producing beta cells within the pancreas are destroyed and fail to produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body’s cells use glucose for energy. Blood glucose (or blood sugar) is manufactured from the food we eat (primarily carbohydrates) and by the liver. If glucose can’t be absorbed by the cells, it builds up in the bloodstream instead. Untreated, the high blood sugars that result can be toxic to every system of the body, causing serious complications.
2) Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease, accounting for 90 to 95% of all diabetes cases in America. Most people with type 2 diabetes are still able to produce insulin at diagnosis. However, the insulin they make does not work properly and is unable to perform its primary job, which is helping the body’s cells use glucose for energy. This characteristic of type 2 diabetes is called insulin resistance.
If left untreated, the high blood sugar levels from uncontrolled diabetes can cause serious long-term diabetic complications. Eventually, they damage the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas, reducing insulin output.
Although the majority of people with type 2 diabetes are adults, children and adolescents are increasingly at risk for the disease due to growing childhood weight problems and sedentary lifestyles.
3) GESTATIONAL DIABETES-The hormonal changes that happen in pregnancy can cause gestational diabetes in pregnant women at risk for the condition. Hormones produced by the placenta — including estrogen, cortisol, and human placental lactogen (HPL) — increase insulin resistance in some women, which results in high blood sugars. This usually occurs between 20 and 24 weeks of pregnancy. Gestational diabetes goes away when the baby is born, but women who have had the condition are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
4) LADA- Short for Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults, LADA is also known as Slow-Onset Type 1 Diabetes, Type 1.5 Diabetes, Late-Onset Autoimmune Diabetes of Adulthood, and even “double diabetes,” since it has elements of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. LADA patients, however, are closer to type 1 patients because, just as I did, they will test positive for antibodies against insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas.