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What are the different types of diabetes and what are the differences in age of onset,...

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rstamper1962 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 15, 2011 at 12:54 PM via web

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What are the different types of diabetes and what are the differences in age of onset, probable causes, symptoms, and treatments? 

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justaguide | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 15, 2011 at 6:22 PM (Answer #1)

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Diabetes is generally classified as either Diabetes Mellitus Type 1 or Diabetes Mellitus Type 2.

Diabetes Mellitus Type 1 is caused due to the body's immune system destroying the insulin producing cells located in the pancreas. This was the major cause of diabetes in young people in the past and was known as Juvenile diabetes, though now a majority of people getting affected by this form of diabetes are adults.

As the body is no longer able to produce insulin, patients with this ailment have to inject artificial insulin to manage the proper utilization of the carbohydrates that they consume. This form of diabetes is not hereditary in nature and the exact cause of the illness has not been understood yet.

Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 is caused due to the pancreas producing a lesser amount of insulin than what is required by the body or the cells of the body unable to utilize the insulin in an effective manner. Type 2 diabetes in the past was only acquired by people late in their lives. The ailment has a strong hereditary link, but the present epidemic of Type 2 diabetes that has made over 90% of people in the US acquire it, is due to unhealthy food consumption, overweight, a lack of activity and other lifestyle factors.

Type 2 diabetes is treatable and can also be controlled by taking oral medication which makes the pancreas produce more insulin and allow the body to effectively utilize the insulin produced.

The symptoms of both forms of diabetes when uncontrolled start with excessive urination, thirst, excessive liquid and solid consumption, chronic tiredness, weight loss, etc. The glucose levels of patients with diabetes are very high and if they remain so for a prolonged time it can result in multiple organ failure and finally in diabetic coma.

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