Causes and Types of Diabetes
Cause of diabetes may be linked to two factors. The two factors have lead to classification of diabetes into two types as well.
a) Type I Diabetes
Symptoms of Type-1 diabetes:
Type-1 diabetes is often characterized by polyuria (excessive urination) , polydipsia (high thirst), constant hunger, weight loss, vision changes and fatigue.
a) Type II Diabetes
Symptoms of Type-2 diabetes:
Symptoms are often similar to Type 1 diabetes, but generally less marked than those in type-1. It's due to this less marked nature of the symptoms that, Type-2 diabetes may be diagnosed several years after onset post complications.
Recently, Children have also been observed to be affected by it.
Other types of Diabetes:
Gestational diabetes, as the name suggests occurs during pregnancy. Hyperglycaemia does occur in this type of diabetes with blood glucose values above normal but below those diagnostic of diabetes. It often leads to increased risk of complications during pregnancy and at delivery with risk of type 2 diabetes in future.
Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and impaired fasting glycaemia (IFG)
Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and impaired fasting glycaemia (IFG) are termed as intermediate conditions in the transition between normality and diabetes. Althought not necessary, people with IGT or IFG are at high risk of progressing to type 2 diabetes.
Diagnosis of Diabetes
Diagnosis of Diabetes in general:
1. Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test
A1C test is used to index the average blood sugar level of past two to three months of an individual. The A1C test is based on the attachment of glucose to hemoglobin (the oxygen carrying protein in RBCs). The typical life span of an RBC in body is around 3 months. Thus, the A1C test helps indexing the average of a person’s blood glucose levels over the past 3 months. Reported as a percentage. The higher the percentage, the higher a person’s blood glucose levels have been. A normal A1C level is below 5.7 percent.
2. Random blood sugar test
Irrespective of the time of meal, a person's random blood sugar level shouldn't be at or above 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L). Above the 11.1 mmol/L level, a person can be suspected of diabetes, especially when observed to report symptoms of diabetes, such as frequent urination and thirst. Thus, Random Blood Sugar test is aimed at probing the concentration of sugar in blood at any random time.
3. Fasting blood sugar test
Fasting blood sugar test is done to observe the level of sugar in the blood of a person who has fasted for atleast 12 hours (often overnight). Fasting blood sugar levels less than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) are considered normal, while those between 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L) are considered prediabetes. Levels at 126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L) or above on two separate tests indicate that the person is having diabetes.
Diagnosis of Type-1 Diabetes vs Type 2 Diabetes
Once diagnosed with diabetes, it becomes important to ascertain the exact type of diabetes one is suffering from, as it is extremely significant in getting right line of treatment.
Apart from the indicative parameters of age of onset, precise tests for autoantibodies, C-peptide assay and test for presence of ketone bodies in urine can mark the difference between two types of diabetes.
Diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is diagnosed through prenatal screening, rather than through the reported symptoms.[/i]
Treatment of Diabetes
Type-1 Diabetes Treatment
Being more related to life-style issues, the first line of treatment of Type-2 diabetes involves:
Exercise (atleast 3-4 hours a week) and appropriate diet (not more than 1800 calories a day being the ideal way to go).
In most cases, insulin administration is not needed and some oral medicines like Metformin (which works by limiting liver's production of glucose and increasing insulin sensitivity) are prescribed.
External administration of insulin might be needed if life style changes and medications aren't able to control blood sugar level.
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and many more to come...
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