Different types of diabetes

As we have learned so far, Carlos has type 1 diabetes and Seema has type 2 diabetes. To recap:

In type 1 diabetes, there is autoimmune mediated damage to the insulin producing islet cells in the pancreas. This results in the lifelong need for insulin treatment.

In type 2 diabetes, though insulin is produced, there is resistance by the body to its effects and over time, insulin production may reduce.

In addition, other forms of diabetes do exist:

Type 3 diabetes refers to a broad group of causes, different to type 1 and 2 diabetes, that are associated with:

  • Reduced insulin production or function (such as other conditions affecting the pancreas, e.g; cystic fibrosis or pancreatitis)
  • Increased insulin resistance (such as with certain medications; e.g steroids or other conditions e.g Cushings syndrome)

Type 4 diabetes is also commonly called gestational diabetes. This occurs during pregnancy and is due to insulin resistance caused by hormonal changes in this situation. It is important to identify this as it can influence the health of the mum and baby. Mums have a 50% chance of developing type 2 diabetes over the next 10 years.

More detailed information on the classification of diabetes can be found in this article, produced by the American Diabetes Association.

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This article is from the free online course:

Understanding Insulin

University of Southampton