TYPE 1 DIABETES
Type 1 diabetes (Juvenile onset Diabetes) develops when the body is unable to produce any amount of insulin. This results in high amount of glucose in blood. Hence children with type 1 diabetes have to take lifelong insulin. This type of diabetes usually occurs before the age of 40 and around 5% of people have type 1 diabetes. But a common myth is that type 1 is more severe than type 2 diabetes. In reality all type of diabetes are severe diabetes and have to be controlled with proper management.
Cause of type 1 Diabetes :
The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. However there are number of factors which might have lead to the destruction of beta cells of pancreas which produces insulin. It is an autoimmune disorder characterized by genetic predisposition, though 80% have no relatives with the disease.
The symptoms include the same classical symptoms of type 2 diabetes
- Polyuria ( Frequent Urination)
- Polydypsia (Increased thirst)
- Polyphagia ( Increased Hunger)
- Dry skin and mouth
- Rapid weight loss
- Abdominal Pain
TYPE 2 DIABETES
Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder caused by deficiency in insulin secretion / action. The following symptoms are common in diabetes. However, people with type 2 diabetes have some symptoms which are so mild that they go unnoticed.
Common symptoms of diabetes includes:
- Frequent Urination (Polyuria) – The body tries to get rid of the extra sugar in blood by excreting in the urine.
- Excessive thirst (Polydypsia)
- Excessive Hunger – Lack of insulin or insulin resistance in which the body cant convert the food into energy. This lack of energy causes hunger even though a person is eating his appropriate regular meals.
- Extreme fatigue / Weakness
- Blurry vision – Frequently occurs due to high blood glucose levels
- Slow healing of Cuts/bruises/wounds
- Unexplained Weight loss – People with diabetes are not able to process the food they eat. They
- may lose weight evn though they eat appropriate or even amount of food. Losing water and sugar in the urine and the accompanying dehydration also contributes to weight loss. This is majorly seen in Type 1 diabetes.
- Neurological symptoms : Tingling, pain/ numbness in the hands/feet and toes. Tingling or burning feeling, pain while walking which may be worst at night, muscle weakness, difficulty in walking. This is majorly seen in Type 2 diabetes
Other symptoms include:
- Infections – Certain frequent yeast infections of the genitals, skin infections, itchy skin & Urinary tract infections. This can also be an indicator of poor glucose control.
- Erectile dysfunction in Men, vaginal dryness and other sexual difficulties in women.
- Altered mental status – Agitation, unexplained lethargy, Irritability, ketoacidosis.
- Slow stomach emptying leading to nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite.
The HbA1C is used to detect type 2 Diabetes, but is not the primary test for diagnosing type 1 Diabetes or Gestational Diabetes (GDM). However, it can be combined with other tests to diagnose Type 1 or GDM. The A1C test also known as glycatedhemoglobin, glycosylated hemoglobin, hemoglobin A1C and HbA1c. This test determines a person’s average glucose levels over the past 3 months/ 12 weeks. However, it does not reflect daily fluctuations. It calculates the percentage of blood sugar linked to hemoglobin. If your blood sugar levels are high, it means that more amount of hemoglobin(red cells) is attached with sugar. This test is assumed to be more convenient for the patients than the other tests since it does not require fasting and can be done at any time of the day. It is recommended that each patient should do this diagnostic test at least twice a year.
For an individual diabetic patient, the recommended value of HbA1C ≤7%, if a person has a value of HbA1C ≥ 6.5%, he is considered to be diagnosed with diabetes. These tests are usually reliable, however there are limitation for patient with anemia, pregnant women or having uncommon form of Hemoglobin.