What is diabetes and the different types of diabetes

Contributed by; Nancy Dixit


Nowadays, diabetes is a word we are quite familiar with. Diabetes is a very common disease that affects people of all ages around the world.

Even in family gatherings people talk about what to eat and what not to eat etc. which seems like an endless conversation.

If you have diabetes, your body is not able to adequately process and use the glucose from the food you eat.

Did you know that according to a 2019 survey, diabetes is the direct cause of 1.5 million deaths and 48% of all diabetes-related deaths occur before the age of 70?

But before we dive in, let’s cover the basics.

How diabetes occurs:

  • When the pancreas produces less insulin
  • When the pancreas does not produce insulin

Through this article, we bring you some unique insights about diabetes and types of diabetes.

what is diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when your body is unable to take sugar (glucose) into its cells and use it for energy. This causes excess sugar to accumulate in your bloodstream.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, which acts like a switch to allow glucose from the food we eat to flow from the bloodstream into the body’s cells to produce energy.

All carbohydrate foods are broken down into glucose in the blood. Insulin helps glucose enter cells.

Diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it makes.

People diagnosed with diabetes experience significant health concerns as the disease has proven to be a catalyst for other health problems.

Disagree: Your family history, environment and pre-existing medical conditions can all affect your chances of developing diabetes.

In such circumstances, Genetic testing or DNA testing The best option is to find out which risks you can control and which you can’t.

Diabetes is mainly of two types:

  1. Diabetes mellitus (when your pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin to control the amount of glucose or sugar in your blood)
  2. Diabetes insipidus (a rare disorder in which the body produces too much urine but your blood glucose levels are normal)

Diabetes Mellitus vs Diabetes Insipidus – At a Glance:

Seniors we will be. Diabetes mellitus Diabetes insipidus
1. It is a metabolic disorder characterized by excessive levels of glucose in the blood It is characterized by excessive thirst and increased urine output.
2. It is caused by lack of insulin It is caused by lack of antidiuretic hormone
3. This leads to overeating It causes dehydration
4. Sugar is excreted in the urine Sugar is not excreted in the urine
5. Blood glucose levels rise Blood glucose levels remain the same

What is diabetes mellitus?

It is a metabolic condition characterized by high blood sugar levels in the body (known as hyperglycemia).

It occurs when the pancreas is no longer able to produce insulin, or when the body cannot make good use of the insulin it produces.

It is further sub-categorized into:

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes (previously known as insulin-dependent, juvenile or childhood-onset) is characterized by deficient insulin production and requires daily administration of insulin. It can develop at any age, but is most common in children and adolescents.

It is an autoimmune condition. In the pancreas, where insulin is made, the immune system attacks and destroys those cells (responsible for making insulin).

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes may include increased urination, excessive thirst, constant hunger, fatigue, vision changes, irritability, numbness in limbs, etc.


This requires taking insulin, frequent blood sugar monitoring, following a diabetes diet plan, and regular exercise.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes (formerly called non-insulin-dependent, or adult-onset) is the most common type of diabetes that results from the body’s ineffective use of insulin.

Your body develops insulin resistance, and sugar builds up in your blood, leading to type 2 diabetes.

It often occurs in middle-aged and elderly people.

This type of diabetes is mostly caused by lack of physical activity and obesity or being overweight.

Did you know that more than 95% of diabetics have type 2 diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus have some of the same symptoms. But the diseases are not related to each other.

As a result, the disease can be diagnosed years after its onset, after complications have already appeared.

These diseases cause different problems in the human body and their treatment is also different.

But apart from type 1 and type 2 diabetes, there are several other types of diabetes. Two other types that are commonly seen are:

  • Prediabetes Blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to officially diagnose type 2 diabetes.
  • Gestational diabetes (GDM)- It develops in some women during their pregnancy. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after pregnancy.

What is diabetes insipidus?

The only similarity between these two is the first word of their names. It has nothing to do with the pancreas or blood sugar like diabetes mellitus.

Diabetes insipidus is a rare condition that occurs in the kidneys and has nothing to do with the pancreas or blood sugar. But it has some of the same signs and symptoms.

In diabetes insipidus, your kidneys can’t concentrate urine properly and you urinate a lot and feel thirsty often.

Diabetes insipidus is caused by a deficiency of the anti-diuretic hormone called vasopressin (AVP).

AVP plays an important role in regulating body fluid volume. It reduces water retention by helping the body retain water kidneyKidneys produce more concentrated urine.

But in diabetes insipidus, due to a lack of AVP, the kidneys cannot make enough concentrated urine and too much water is lost from the body.

Did you know that diabetes insipidus affects 1 in 25,000 people in the general population?

Last thought

When you are diagnosed with diabetes, you are suffering from both high blood sugar levels or even low blood sugar levels. So make sure you check yourself from time to time.

If you experience any of the unusual symptoms mentioned above in the article, talk to your healthcare provider immediately.

Your doctor may need to review your diabetic treatment based on your specific health history and blood sugar imbalances.

In fact, your diabetic medication may change in terms of dosage, type, or timing.

Therefore, it is recommended to consult your doctor or nurse before starting or changing your medication.

Additionally, diabetes tends to run in families. If you are 45 or older, have a family history of diabetes, or are overweight, you are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

In addition, you should opt for frequent diabetes screening. This health checkup can provide you with a comprehensive insight into your condition and overall health, allowing you to take the necessary precautions to stay on top of your health.

Get tested for diabetes today

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