Diabetes Consultation- Cardiology, Endocrinology, Pediatrics
The WHO defines diabetes as, “A chronic, metabolic disease characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose (or blood sugar), which leads over time to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves”. According to a 2021 study, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that 537 million adults within the age group of 20 to 79 years are living with diabetes. This number is further predicted to rise to 643 million by 2030 and 783 million by 2045.
Due to its growing worldwide prevalence, diabetes is one of the most researched and documented diseases worldwide. There is a wealth of information available online about this chronic health condition. Diabetes is also one of the diseases that consistently appears among the most searched health conditions. Some common questions people search for online include, ‘What are the 4 types of diabetes?', 'Can diabetes be reversed?', 'What causes diabetes?', and 'What is diabetic ketoacidosis?'
According to the CDC, the primary subtypes of diabetes are type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Type 3 and type 4 diabetes are proposed terms that have emerged based on research. Although types 3 and 4 are yet to be officially classified as diabetes, we have discussed them considering the growing interest surrounding these two topics.
In type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune condition, the cells that produce insulin in the pancreas are attacked and destroyed by your body's immune system. Insulin aids your body in utilizing glucose as fuel. In the absence of insulin the blood sugar level rises. For more details on type 1 diabetes, refer to our blog.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type occurring when your body is unable to use insulin properly or the insulin produced in the pancreas is insufficient to keep your blood glucose level in the normal range. To know more, click here.
The third acknowledged subtype is gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy. It usually resolves after the birth of the baby, but some women develop type 2 diabetes later in life.
A related condition is Prediabetes that usually precedes Type 2 diabetes. In prediabetes, the blood glucose levels are slightly elevated which might put the person at a higher risk of contracting Type 2 diabetes.
Type 3 Diabetes is a term used by some scientists to hypothesize that Alzheimer’s disease may be triggered by dysfunction in insulin-like growth factors and a type of insulin resistance that occurs specifically in the brain. Click on this link to learn more about type 3 diabetes.
Type 4 diabetes relates to insulin resistance that occurs in people over the age of 65 who are neither overweight nor obese. Hence, this type might be prevalent but mostly undiagnosed.
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