Types of Diabetes

There is a group of diseases of the endocrine system associated with a violation of carbohydrate metabolism in the body, in particular, with the inability to absorb glucose by cells. This pathology is called diabetes mellitus. The main symptom of the disease is a chronic increase in blood glucose levels. The causes and nature of the course of the disease are different, so it is divided into several types.

Reasons for the development of the disease

After eating, nutrients, in particular glucose, enter the human blood. The hormone insulin is the command to transport glucose across cell membranes into cells. It is produced by the beta cells of the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. If for some reason the mechanism of glucose utilization is disturbed, diabetes mellitus occurs. The result of the disorder is a significant and chronic increase in the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood.

Despite the different mechanism of occurrence of the disease of different types, there are a number of reasons leading to it:

  • Genetic predisposition: the more blood relatives had diabetes, the higher the risk of its occurrence.
  • Obesity: Excess body weight has been found to significantly increase the risk of disease.
  • Inflammatory processes: infectious and inflammatory diseases can lead to damage to the pancreas and disruption of its secretory function.
  • Poisoning the body with toxins and heavy metals: it can also disrupt the secretory function of the pancreas, or disrupt the receptor susceptibility of cells to insulin.
  • Inadequate nutrition and unhealthy lifestyle: can disable the body in general and glucose metabolism in particular.
  • Alcoholism: affects the entire body, the pancreas in particular.
  • Stress: it can also cause a “breakdown” of carbohydrate metabolism, a strong stressful situation is especially dangerous.
  • Age: for one of the types of diabetes there is a second name “senile”. In fact, it is not age that becomes the cause, but many other factors that lead to impaired glucose metabolism.
  • Pregnancy: is a serious stress and can temporarily overload carbohydrate metabolism. After childbirth, the ability to absorb glucose is usually restored.

Type 1 diabetes

If for a number of reasons the pancreas begins to produce an insufficient amount of the hormone or does not produce it at all, a pathological condition occurs, classified as type 1 diabetes.

Its second name is insulin-dependent diabetes. The causes of damage to the pancreatic tissues responsible for the synthesis of insulin may be different, but the mechanism of the disease comes down to one thing – the hormone is not produced.

Currently, toxins have been identified that destroy the secretory function of the gland, viral infections, bacterial pancreatitis, even autoimmune disorders. Pathology can occur even at a very young age. Type 1 diabetes in children is called juvenile diabetes.

The only method of therapy is the injection of insulin preparations. This type is incurable, and taking the hormone becomes a lifelong necessity.

Type 2 diabetes

For a number of reasons, immunity of target cells to hormone molecules may occur. As a result, the pancreas produces the right or even excessive amount of the hormone, but its cells become immune (resistant) to it. The result of this failure is the same – an increase in blood glucose levels.

Since the problem is not a lack of insulin, its introduction does not affect the course of the disease. For this reason, this type of diabetes has a second name “non-insulin dependent”.

Pancreatic diabetes

The pancreas can be damaged as a result of pancreatitis. This may be accompanied by a partial or complete loss of its ability to produce a hormone. As a result, so-called pancreatic diabetes develops. If it is possible to cure the pancreas without losing the parts responsible for the synthesis of insulin, the function of producing the hormone is restored, and the disease disappears. If the damage to the gland is irreversible, type 1 diabetes occurs.

Wolfram syndrome

A rare genetic disease in which diabetes and diabetes insipidus occur at an early age. It is accompanied by degenerative phenomena in the nervous system (the optic nerve suffers the most).

The mechanism of the disease has not been studied. The disease is inherited by a recessive (hidden) trait, and manifests itself if both parents have a defective gene (there were cases of the disease in both lines).

Other types of diabetes

The following atypical types of this disease can be distinguished:

  • Pregnancy diabetes (gestational). Against the background of serious hormonal changes during pregnancy, the regulation of glucose metabolism may be temporarily disrupted. After childbirth, the disease disappears.
  • Immune (autoimmune) diabetes. Its causes and mechanism are not fully understood. It manifests itself in the production of antibodies to insulin, insulin receptor cells or to the cells of the islets of Langerhans responsible for the synthesis of the hormone.
  • Genetic (hereditary). There are a number of hereditary syndromes that accompany diabetes.
    These types are quite rare.