By Charlie G ❘ 2013

Diabetes. A world of possibilities coverThis is chapter 8 of my book “DIABETES. A world of possibilities”, which I’m publishing here for free. You can access all the chapters published until now here.

I was hesitant to include this chapter in the book to explain the different types of diabetes there are, because if you bought this book, one might assume that you know what type of diabetes you have and what it is. But, taking into account the comments that some people write on my website, where they say they do not know what kind of diabetes they have, I feel it is worth explaining it here, in case you are reading this book as a novice in the world of diabetes.

I’ll explain it shortly, and if you want to know more about each type of diabetes, you can do a search on Wikipedia or Google and get much more information.

Diabetes must be understood as a configuration of interconnected metabolic problems.

The most common types are type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults-or type 1.5), and gestational diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

It was previously known as “juvenile diabetes” because of its propensity to affect a person during childhood to early adulthood. Also known as “Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus,” as the person with this condition is dependent on insulin injections. Type 1 is the most severe and least common (5-10% of cases of diabetes).

Although the cause of T1 diabetes is unknown, the “official version” affirms that the reason for this is usually a malfunction of the pancreas due to an autoimmune failure. In these cases, the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas are attacked by the body’s own immune system until they are almost or completely depleted. Since it is believed that a person with type 1 diabetes does not produce insulin (or not enough), insulin must be externally taken through injections, and must be carefully controlled.

There are two risks associated with this type of diabetes: one is hyperglycemia or high blood glucose. Hyperglycemia is an excess of sugar in the blood, and symptoms include hunger, thirst, fatigue, blurred vision, nausea, increased urination, yeast infections, and genital inflammation. Then there is hypoglycemia, a more dangerous situation in the short term. Hypoglycemia is when there is not enough glucose in the blood (perhaps caused by excessive doses of insulin). Symptoms include confusion, anxiety, drowsiness, dizziness, fever, sweating, tremors or tingling, and similar symptoms.

As you’ll see in the chapter on scientific advances to cure diabetes, the hypothesis that the pancreas stops working is not correct in all cases. It has been shown that, even after many years with Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas still has beta cells. And according to Dr. Richard Bernstein, the sooner you start the treatment for this type of diabetes, the more likely that beta cells that were alive at the time of diagnosis will stay alive, thus requiring less insulin and glucose levels are more easily controlled.

Type 2 Diabetes

The Non-Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus –NIDDM, used to be known as the “adult onset diabetes,” but currently that term is not used anymore. More and more children are developing type 2 diabetes. Junk food, lack of exercise, and obesity may be the main culprits. The root cause of this type in both adults and children is not that the pancreas does not supply insulin—it is usually due to an unhealthy lifestyle. When an individual continually overloads his body with sugars, refined flours, and unhealthy fats, he can create continuous high levels of blood glucose that the pancreas has to fight to reduce by producing more insulin at a faster pace. As sugar is inflammatory, the high glucose levels in the blood damages tissues and organs with which it comes in contact.

This accumulation of blood glucose signals the pancreas to produce even more insulin, but as the cells cannot take it or use it properly, the bloodstream accumulates glucose and insulin, a combination that is doubly inflammatory. Together, they “burn” organs and tissues (a process called glycation). This accelerates the aging process, which is why people with diabetes often have prematurely wrinkled skin and organs that are 15 or 20 years older biologically than their chronological age.

Excess insulin in the blood creates more triglycerides to be accumulated and stored as fat. This leads to weight problems and obesity.
This whole process leads to “insulin resistance,” which is the primary cause of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. (11)

Although the mainstream treatment for this type of diabetes is metformin (or other drugs), many doctors are now saying that type 2 diabetes does not require medication, but exercise and maintaining a healthy diet in order to control the levels of blood glucose.

L.A.D.A.

Also known as Type 1.5, refers to a slow-onset type 1 autoimmune diabetes in adults. That is, it becomes like the type 1, but starts in adults and develops more slowly.
Some adults with LADA are initially misdiagnosed with type 2 diabetes, based on age, not on the etiology.
A way that physicians have to determine whether a non-obese adult has LADA instead of type 2 is by testing GAD antibodies, beta cells, and insulin.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a temporary type of diabetes that affects 2-3% of pregnant women, and usually goes away after pregnancy. This type of diabetes can be very difficult to diagnose because many symptoms are similar to those of a normal pregnancy. Symptoms include blurred vision, fatigue, increased appetite and urination, and thirst, potential symptoms of a normal pregnancy.

However, gestational diabetes is a serious type of diabetes to be aware of. If it is not diagnosed early enough, it can have detrimental effects on the baby, which could cause the baby to be stillborn, or die shortly after birth. Gestational diabetes can also leave the child and his mother with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in their lives (read later about a clinical study where they managed to reverse gestational diabetes in participants of the study in a short period of time).

(11) Ripich S., CNP y Healthy, J. (2010) The 30 Day Diabetes Cure. The Drug-Free Solution to America’s #1 Health Crisis, Santa Fe/New Mexico: Jim Healthy Publications, p. 11.

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