Diabetes has different types too!


Do you know diabetes is not just one but a group condition that affects the body? We all know that diabetes affects the body’s sugar regulation by affecting the mechanisms by which the body produces or uses sugar. However, diabetes or diabetes mellitus is a blanket term for different types of diabetes and their mechanisms and how they affect sugar levels differ from each other.

Diabetes symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are the same. However, the severity and onset of diabetic symptoms are more in type 1 than in type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes

It is an auto-immune condition and starts commonly during our childhood but can also begin during adulthood. It occurs in 5-10% of people and has a genetic origin. Here, our body’s immune cells kill the beta cells of the pancreas that produce insulin, affecting sugar regulation in the body. It is also called insulin-dependent diabetes.

Since our body is not making enough insulin to regulate sugar, insulin injections are the first line of treatment to regulate our diabetes symptoms. Also, adding regular physical activity, losing weight, and opting for a healthier lifestyle can help us in achieving desired sugar level in the long run.

Type 2 diabetes

It is the most common form of diabetes, also known as insulin-resistant diabetes. Here, our body cells cannot use the insulin produced by the pancreas. This increases the load on the pancreas to produce more insulin. After some time, these cells get depleted, and this causes excess glucose levels to remain in the bloodstream.

Type 2 diabetes develops because of the combination of genetics and a poor lifestyle. A sedentary lifestyle accompanied by a diet rich in carbs and fats can predispose us to this condition. It usually starts in adulthood but can develop in childhood, too, especially in obese children.

Oral anti-diabetic medications are the treatment of choice to control diabetes symptoms. Regular exercise and diet control, especially checking our carbs and maintaining an overall healthier lifestyle, can help prevent this condition.

In severe type 2 diabetes, these treatment modalities cannot regulate blood sugar levels. In those cases, we take insulin injections to maintain optimum sugar levels in the blood.

Gestational diabetes

Also known as pregnancy-induced diabetes, it develops during the 4th to 6th month of pregnancy. Women with a family history of diabetes are more prone to gestational diabetes. It occurs because of pregnancy hormones and sudden weight gain during pregnancy, which decreases the ability of the body to use insulin. This increase in glucose levels in our bloodstream causes diabetes or hyperglycemia. After the baby’s birth, gestational diabetes goes away in 90% of women. But, in case there is a family history of diabetes, it can progress to type 2 diabetes later.

What is prediabetes?

One of the types of diabetes is called prediabetes, where our blood sugar levels remain above the normal range but are not high enough to be categorised as diabetes.

If we are overweight and have a sedentary lifestyle and a rich diet in carbs and saturated fats, we can develop this condition soon. Polycystic ovary syndrome in women is also a risk factor for prediabetes, which can later progress to type 2 diabetes if not treated on time.

If we intervene during the prediabetes stage, we can avoid diabetes. Exercising, eating low glycemic foods, and eating healthy and moderately has a significant effect and can prevent anyone from progressing to diabetes.

Symptoms of diabetes

Diabetes symptoms vary from person to person, depending on their sugar levels. Some of the common diabetes symptoms (both type 1 and type 2) are:

  • Increased feeling of thirst (polydipsia)
  • Frequent urination (polyuria)
  • constant feeling of hunger (polyphagia)
  • sudden weight loss
  • slow healing of wounds
  • Eyesight-related issues like blurred vision
  • Increased number of infections
  • Constant fatigue
  • Frequent skin rash, known as diabetic dermadromes

Another severe condition associated with diabetes is diabetic ketoacidosis. The symptoms involve deep breathing (Kussmaul breathing), vomiting, sudden abdominal pain, increased thirst, and urine output. It is an uncommon condition that occurs because of the lack of insulin in the body. In certain circumstances, this is the first symptom of previously undiagnosed people.


Life with diabetes is quite challenging. Management of diabetes not only involves sugar control but an overall lifestyle modification. If we have one or more diabetes symptoms, it is better to get a sugar level test done and start changing our lifestyle, which includes inculcating low glycemic foods such as whole grains, nuts like walnuts and almonds, lentils, etc. Exercise, weight reduction, and avoiding foods high in sugar help prevent type 2 diabetes and maintain overall well-being. Diabetes symptoms improve significantly after doing these lifestyle changes to a large extent. Also, regularly tracking our sugar levels to prevent the onset or progression of diabetes helps us make informed choices in the earlier stages.


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