The all type of diabetes
You probably know type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and you may have heard of gestational diabetes. They are not the only ones, there are others, rarer and therefore less known.
We can classify the different diabetes according to their cause in two categories:
- Those caused by a loss of the pancreas’s ability to produce insulin
- Those caused by insulin resistance
To complicate matters a bit, diabetes caused by insulin resistance can lead to insufficient production of insulin by the pancreas, and vice versa: a deficit in insulin production can develop insulin resistance.
The common point of all these diabetics is the very definition of this pathology: they are all translated by a too high blood sugar level .
The different diabetes:
- Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks insulin-producing cells. Glucose cannot enter cells, blood sugar stays high, and cells “starve”.
- Type 2 diabetes . Its origin comes from insulin resistance , which generates a long-term deficit in the production of this hormone by the pancreas.
- Type 3 diabetes. People with Alzheimer’s disease could also be called type 3 diabetics. Insulin helps regulate the GSK3 enzyme in the brain and therefore helps fight neural degeneration. However, if the blood-brain barrier cells become resistant to insulin, the brain has trouble getting glucose. In addition, the activity of this GSK3 enzyme is exacerbated. This is one of the factors explaining the degeneration of neurons ( Here to find out more ).
This discovery is recent, but it proves once again that many diseases are linked to lifestyle. In addition, this phenomenon explains to us why a ketogenic diet can be beneficial for patients. The ketogenic diet is a therapeutic diet where ketones will be the main source of energy instead of glucose.
- Gestational diabetes , (also called pregnancy diabetes ) is a form of temporary diabetes, caused by insulin resistance during pregnancy. Insulin injections are favored over oral medications because they can cross the placental barrier, and therefore potentially affect the fetus. After birth, the production of hormones opposed to insulin action drops, as well as weight. Also, in the majority of cases, there is a return to normal. However, women will be more at risk of developing T2D. To find out more, find my more complete article on upcoming gestational diabetes .
- MODY (Maturity Onset Diabetes of Youth) is an early onset of mature diabetes in children. It is caused by a gene that limits the ability of the pancreas to secrete enough insulin. It is generally accompanied by overweight, or even obesity. MODY is very often diagnosed at puberty because it is a period when the body produces more sex hormones. The need for insulin is also greater. Depending on the degree of MODY, drugs or insulin injections will be offered. To find out more, click here.
- LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adulthood) refers to diabetes of latent autoimmune origin in adults. See this diabetes as incomplete insulin resistant T1D. Some even call it T1D ½ due to the mixed symptoms of T1D and T2D. In LADA, the immune system attacks beta cells in the pancreas, but only part of them are affected. Also, undestroyed cells continue to secrete insulin for years. Many people with LADA can manage their blood sugar with small doses of insulin for a period of time. But, the “surviving” cells will tire, and a real insulin resistance will undeniably develop, inducing a treatment similar to T1D.
- The neonatal diabetes . It is very rare, appears in the first 6 months of life. Similar to MODY, it is explained by a genetic mutation limiting the ability of beta cells in the pancreas to produce insulin. Sometimes the diabetes “disappears” but in most cases returns to adulthood. Insulin is the best treatment for optimal growth and development in children.
- The secondary diabetes is caused by the destruction of beta cells of the pancreas produce insulin, but not by cells of the immune system. It may be due to trauma (accident), overdose of steroids, pancreatitis, alcoholism, cancer treatments or infection. The cause is the same as DT1 (destruction of insulin producing cells), the treatment will be the same.
Here is a small summary table:
|Type of diabetes||Cause (s)||Treatment options|
|DT1||Autoimmune attack of beta cells in the pancreas||Insulin|
|DT2||Insulin resistance and progressive insulin production failure||Lifestyle modification, medication and insulin|
|Gestational||Temporary insulin resistance||Lifestyle modification, insulin|
|LADA||Partial immune attack of beta cells and mild insulin resistance||Insulin, possibility of primitive medication|
|Neonatal||Genetic mutation limiting beta cells to produce insulin||Insulin|
|MODY||Genetic mutation limiting beta cells to produce insulin||Lifestyle modification, medication and insulin|