Types of Diabetes


There are two major types of diabetes: Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (Type I) and Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (Type II). Throughout this section we will just refer to them as either Type I or Type II. In this section we will briefly cover the two main types of diabetes.

Type I diabetes was once called juvenile onset diabetes because it is most prevalent among adolescents or those under the age of twenty. It occurs when a person's pancreas produces very little or no insulin at all. This lack of insulin becomes dangerous because, as you know, insulin is the chemical that regulates the blood glucose levels when the blood glucose levels are high. High blood glucose levels can cause people to go into convulsions, a diabetic coma , and possibly even die. This reaction is called hyperglycemia which means high sugar levels. Type I diabetes is usually treated with injections of insulin into the body and with a modified diet in conjunction with exercise.

Type II diabetes is most prevalent in Native American populations. It is more common in adults, but like Type I it can affect any age group. It happens because the receptors don't respond to insulin very well. It occurs when a persons pancreas produces an insufficient amount of insulin or when the insulin it produces is not able to react with the body's cells Type II diabetes is usually treated with oral medication in conjunction with diet and exercise. However, some persons with Type II need to take insulin injections as well. In some Native American populations such as the Pima Indians the chance of getting Type II diabetes is 50 percent.

Other types of diabetes are known, but are less common. They can be the result of genetic mutation, malnutrition, infections, surgery and medication. Diabetes that occurs because of medication may be temporary and disappears when the medication is no longer used.