What type of diabetes do you have? It may not seem important at first glance, but each type requires slightly different treatments and approaches.
Dr. Farah Khan and our team of experts at Millennium Park Medical Associates in Greenwood Village, Colorado, we help patients manage their diabetes, no matter which type they’re dealing with. Here’s a closer look at the differences between the four variations of diabetes and diabetes cure you can rely on to help you thrive despite your condition.
Type 1 diabetes
You may have heard of some autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis, but you may not realize that type 1 diabetes is one of them. With an autoimmune disease, your body can’t tell the difference between normal cells and foreign invaders, so it attacks itself and destroys healthy tissue — in this case, the cells in your pancreas that make the hormone called insulin. You need insulin to enable sugar to enter your cells and be used for energy.
Type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed in children, which is why it’s also known as juvenile diabetes. It’s a chronic condition with no cure, and it’s believed to be caused by genetic, viral, or environmental factors. Only about 10% of people with diabetes have this type.
Treatment for type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes means that your pancreas doesn’t produce insulin, so you need to take insulin. Dr. Khan guides you through the details of your treatments, which typically fall into one of two categories: insulin injections or an insulin pump that delivers measured doses of insulin into your system throughout the day.
You can expect to monitor your blood sugar frequently and watch your diet for the rest of your life.
Type 1.5 diabetes
Like type 1 diabetes, type 1.5, technically called latent autoimmune diabetes (LADA) , occurs when something stops your pancreas from producing insulin. But that’s where the similarities end.
Rather than occurring in childhood, type 1.5 diabetes typically affects folks who are more than 30 years older. For this reason, some people are misdiagnosed with type 2 diabetes. However, type 1.5 can’t be treated with diet, weight loss, and lifestyle changes.
If you suffer from symptoms, such as excessive thirst, blurred vision, frequent urination, and unexplained weight loss, but you lead an active life and your weight is in a healthy range, you may have type 1.5, not type 2, diabetes.
LADA diabetes starts late and progresses slowly, and it can usually be treated with the same medications that work well for those with type 2 diabetes. Eventually, however, you’ll need insulin, just like those who have type 1 diabetes, because your pancreas slows down its insulin production more and more as time passes.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes usually develops in adulthood, and the prevalence is higher in older populations. With type 2 diabetes, either your body makes insulin, but it’s just not enough, or you make enough insulin, but your body can’t process it properly. The majority of people with diabetes have this type.
Treatment for type 2 diabetes
The first thing to do once you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is evaluate your diet and exercise habits. Paying attention to what you eat and getting more exercise can dramatically reduce your diabetes symptoms. Dr. Khan may also prescribe medication to help you keep your blood sugar well-controlled and help you use insulin more effectively.
About 2-10% of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes, meaning they suddenly can’t produce enough insulin. The condition may stem from the weight gain that occurs during pregnancy, which prevents your cells from processing insulin properly.
Gestational diabetes often resolves after the baby is delivered, but around 50% of women who suffer from gestational diabetes, develop type 2 diabetes later in life.
Having gestational diabetes may lead to some other pregnancy complications as well, including high blood pressure and premature delivery.
Gestational diabetes tends to run in families, so if your mother or sister had it, you’re at a higher risk than others. This condition is also more common in certain ethnic groups, so if you’re of African American, Native American, Asian American, or Latino descent, your risk is higher.
As with type 1 and type 2, you increase your chance of getting gestational diabetes if you’re overweight.
Treatment for gestational diabetes
Dr. Khan monitors you closely when you have gestational diabetes to make sure you and the baby are doing well. The best diabetes cure is a healthy diet and exercise routine, but she may prescribe insulin or other medication if necessary.
Every type of diabetes can be dangerous, so make sure you partner with Dr. Khan to keep your blood sugar well-controlled. To schedule an appointment, book it online or call us at 720-487-9691 today.