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Types of Diabetes Mellitus – Which Type are You

Updated on April 8, 2012

Diabetes Mellitus is a metabolic disorder characterized by elevated blood levels or hyperglycemia. Factors leading to hyperglycemia in diabetes include reduced or no insulin secretion, decreased glucose utilization and increased glucose production. Diabetes could lead to major complications including end stage renal disease, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease, leg amputations, and blindness. Diabetes Mellitus is usually known with two types, Type 1 diabetes or previously known as insulin dependent diabetes mellitus and type 2 diabetes or formerly known as non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, however there are other types of diabetes mellitus which are not that common to people, below is a list of the types of diabetes mellitus

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Types of Diabetes Mellitus

Type 1 Diabetes – this type is the result of genetic, environmental and immunologic factors leading to the destruction of insulin producing cells (beta cells) in the pancreas. Type 1 Diabetes results from autoimmune destruction of beta cells in the pancreas leading to reduced insulin secretion or no insulin secretion at all. Patients who are Type 1’s should be maintain on insulin starting the time they are diagnosed. Some patients with type 1 diabetes would go to diabetic ketoacidosis or hyperosmolar coma (DM complications) even with just one missed dose of insulin.

Type 2 Diabetes – this type results from insulin resistance and abnormal insulin secretion which are central to the development of type 2 diabetes. Other factors include excessive hepatic glucose production and abnormal fat metabolism. Obesity is common among patients with type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetics could be started on oral hypoglycemics to decreased insulin resistance and promote insulin secretion. If sugar levels are still uncontrolled, insulin therapy might be needed to maintain sugar levels to normal.

Gestational Diabetes – a previous healthy female who develop glucose intolerance during her pregnancy is defined as gestational diabetes. Resistance to insulin in pregnancy is due to the metabolic changes occurring in pregnancy. Glucose tolerance usually return back to normal after pregnancy but some patients will eventually developed impaired fasting glucose or eventually have diabetes post-delivery.

Other Types of Diabetes Mellitus – other etiologies of diabetes not belonging to the first three mentioned above belong to this group. The group includes: disease entities with genetic defects in beta cell function like your Maturity Onset Diabetes in the Young (MODY) type 1 to 6, disease entities with genetic defects in insulin action like Rabson-Mendenhall syndrome and Lipodystropy syndromes, disease entities of the exocrine pancreas like your pancreatitis or a pancreatic neoplasm, endocrinopathies like your Cushing’s syndrome and pheochromocytoma, drug or chemically induced diabetes like anti-psychotics, steroids and nicotinic acid, infections like your rubella and cytomegalovirus infections, uncommon immune-mediated diabetes and other genetic syndromes associated with diabetes like your Down’s and Klinefelter’s syndrome.


Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine 18th ed

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    • jhunpaler profile image

      jhunpaler 5 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks for the comment :)I m glad you enjoyed reading my article :)

    • thesingernurse profile image

      thesingernurse 5 years ago from Rizal, Philippines

      Filipinos are all high-risk to develop Diabetes Mellitus (just like other susceptible races). They have to be educated further regarding such disease. And I'm glad that you use Hubpages as a platform to do such that.

      Thank you for sharing these useful information Doctor! More power to you!