Diabetes Care

Topic: Common diabetes types

Common diabetes types

Type 1 Diabetes

Patients’ bodies produce too little or no insulin. As a result, insulin injections are needed every day.

Main Causes: genetics, autoimmunity, viral infections, race, and unexplained causes.

Type 1 diabetes makes up an estimated 5–10% of all diabetes cases worldwide and an estimated 2% of the diabetes cases in Taiwan.

Type 1 diabetes can happen at any age, but it usually occurs more often in children and adolescents. Most of the patients are diagnosed by the age of 30.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is caused by inadequate insulin secretion or insulin resistance, resulting in the inability to carry out glucose metabolism efficiently. In the beginning, patients with type 2 diabetes produce more insulin to support the body’s needs. However, as time goes by, the pancreas’s function is gradually weakened and it is unable to provide enough insulin, which results in elevated blood sugar. Type 2 diabetes accounts for the largest percentage of diabetes cases and mainly occurs after the age of 30. However, the age of onset in patients with type 2 diabetes is gradually getting lower in recent years mainly due to obesity.

Main Causes: Genetics; poor lifestyle habits.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes may occur after pregnancy. Gestational diabetes also refers to type 2 diabetes first found during pregnancy. In late pregnancy, the body’s metabolism changes and the pregnancy hormones lead to an increase in blood glucose levels. Women who have high risk factors, such as a family history of diabetes or a BMI ≧30 kg/m² pre-pregnancy, are recommended to receive gestational diabetes testing around the 24th to 28th week of pregnancy. Women are recommended to receive glucose tolerance testing 4-12 weeks after delivery to ensure that their blood glucose levels have returned to normal.

Source: American Diabetes Association

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