What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is the condition in which the body does not properly process food for use as energy. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies.

There are 3 Types of Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

Diabetes Type 1 - Causes and Symptoms

Type 1 diabetes used to be called juvenile diabetes or insulin dependent diabetes (IDDM). Of all the people with diabetes about 10%of them have Type 1 diabetes.In type 1 diabetes, beta cells produce little or no insulin. Without enough insulin, glucose builds up in the bloodstream instead of going into the cells. The body is unable to use this glucose for energy. This leads to the symptoms of type 1 diabetes.

It is most common in people of non-Hispanic white persons of Northern European descent, followed by African Americans and HispanicAmericans. It is relatively rare in those of Asian descent.

Causes of Type 1 diabetes

Type1, also called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a disorder of the body's immune system. This kind of disorder can be passed down through families. It is slightly more common in men than in women.

Environmental factors, such as certain types of viral infections, formula feeding beginning before age 3 months and exposure to certain food additives, such as nitrates and nitrosamines, may also contribute.

Symptoms of Type 1 diabetes

  • Feeling very thirsty

  • Producing excessive amounts of urine

  • Tiredness

  • Weight loss and muscle wasting

  • Deep, rapid breathing

  • Dry skin and mouth

  • Flushed face

  • Fruity breath odor

Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes Type 2 - Causes and Symptoms

Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong (chronic) disease in which there are high levels of blood glucose. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is becoming increasingly common in U.S. kids and teens, especially in those who are overweight. Some studies report that between 8% and 45% of children who've been newly diagnosed with diabetes type 2. Millions of Americans have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and many more are unaware they are at high risk.

Causes of Type 2 diabetes

  • Either the pancreas does not make enough insulin and/or the body does not use it properly

  • Genetic Factors

  • Environmental Factors

  • Lifestyle

Symptoms of Type 2 diabetes

  • Blurred sight

  • Decreased sensation or numbness in the hands and feet

  • Dry, itchy skin

  • Frequent bladder and vaginal infections

  • Frequent need to urinate

  • Increased thirst and hunger

  • Male impotence (erectile dysfunction)

  • Slow healing of cuts or sores

  • Tiredness

Type 3 Diabetes

Diabetes Type 3 - Causes and Symptoms

Type 3 diabetes occurs when neurons in the brain become unable to respond to insulin, which is essential for basic tasks, including memory and learning. Some researchers believe insulin deficiency is central to the cognitive decline of Alzheimer's disease.

Causes of Type 3 diabetes

  • Genetic defects of Beta cell function (MODY)

  • Genetic defects of the action of insulin

  • Diseases of the exocrine pancreas, e.g. pancreatitis, haemochromatosis

  • Endocrinopathies, e.g. acromegaly, Cushing’s syndrome

  • Drug or chemical induced, e.g. glucocorticoids

  • Infections

  • Rare immune-mediated forms, e.g. anti-insulin receptor antibodies

  • Other genetic syndromes, e.g. Down’s syndrome, Klinefelter’s syndrome