When the body does not produce insulin, type 1 diabetes (or insulin-dependent diabetes) develops. Although type 1 is most often diagnosed in children or young adults, the disease can strike at any age. When the body does not produce enough insulin or does not use it properly, type 2 diabetes (or insulin resistance diabetes) develops. Type 2 is most often diagnosed in overweight adults age 40+ with a family history of diabetes, however, it is becoming increasingly common in younger people, especially adolescents. Also, certain racial and ethnic groups-African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Latinos and Native Americans-are more prone to diabetes. Often, type 2 symptoms develop gradually, so people may have the disease for months or years before it is diagnosed. Most people who develop type 2 diabetes first exhibit signs of pre-diabetes, with blood glucose levels elevated but below the diabetes range.In this section, you can find further information about the different classifications on diabetes and other types of glucose intolerance:
- Type 1 diabetes
- Type 2 diabetes
- Gestational diabetes
- Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adults (LADA)
- Maturity-Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY)
Before developing type 2 diabetes, most people show symptoms of pre-diabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels measure higher than normal but not as high as it does with diabetes. People with pre-diabetes - 79 million Americans, or 35 percent of U.S. adults - face an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes within a decade unless they change their eating habits and get more exercise. Research suggests that pre-diabetes may cause some damage to the body, especially the heart and circulatory system.
Diabetes is a progressive disease, and pre-diabetes may take years to develop into diabetes. During the time before overt detection and diagnosis, the pancreas is producing lesser amounts of insulin because of beta cell destruction. Fasting blood glucose levels are rising and may be higher than normal but not in the full diabetes range. There may be no symptoms during this time, but the higher glucose levels continue to damage the beta cells and other organs. Pre-diabetes is defined as a fasting blood glucose of 100-125mg/dl, or after meals a blood glucose of 140-199mg/dl, or a HgA1c of 5.7-6.4 percent. Routine yearly blood tests can screen for pre-diabetes. Patients may be able to stop the progression onto type 2 diabetes by losing 7-10 percent of body weight, eating a balanced diet and exercising 30 minutes, five times per week.
For the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's "2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet," click here.
Pre-diabetes is diagnosed with a blood test with the Fasting Plasma Glucose 100mg/dl or greater and 126mg/dl or less.
Maybe you never really thought about being tested for diabetes, but you could be showing signs of pre-diabetes and not be aware of the subtle changes in your health. Some symptoms (see "Symptoms") are increased thirst, frequent urination, tiredness, blurred vision, slow healing wounds, reduced sensations in your feet (neuropathy), and unexplained weight loss. Your eye doctor might notice some changes in your eyes, retinopathy, on a routine eye exam, or a routine physical shows a fasting blood glucose above normal. You might have a finger prick test done at a health fair, and a random blood sugar is over 200mg/dL. If you have a first degree relative with diabetes, you should pay attention. Increased weight, low activity level and increasing age are risk factors that favor the development of type 2 diabetes.
- Diagnosis (Tests for Diabetes)
- Blood tests are used to diagnose both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and also gestational diabetes.
- Normal fasting blood glucose = less than 100mg/dl
- Normal blood glucose two hours after eating=less than 140mg/dl
Before developing type 2 diabetes, most people show symptoms of pre-diabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels measure higher than normal but not as high as it does with diabetes. People with pre-diabetes - 54 million in the United States - face an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes within a decade unless they change their eating habits and get more exercise. Research suggests that pre-diabetes may cause some damage to the body, especially the heart and circulatory system. Pre-diabetes level ranges: Fasting blood glucose ±100mg/dl and less than 126mg/dl; Two hours after eating blood glucose ±140mg/dl and less 200mg/dl; Hg A1C 5.7-6.4 percent.Diabetes
- Fasting blood glucose ±126mg/dl on two different test occasions
- Two hours after eating blood glucose ±200mg/dl on two occasions
- Random blood glucose over 200mg/dl and symptoms present
- Hg A1C greater than 6.5 percent
The American Diabetes Association along with an International Diabetes Federation committee announced the glycated hemoglobin test, commonly call hemoglobin A1C test can be used to diagnose diabetes. This test represents the last three months of your blood glucose levels. If your hemoglobin A1C is 6.5 or higher (on two separate tests), you will be diagnosed with diabetes, unless there is a special condition, such as a blood disorder, hemodialysis, or pregnancy.Other Tests
OGTT (Oral Glucose Tolerance Test): This is a screening test during pregnancy for gestational diabetes. This is usually done between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.C-Peptide Test
A C-peptide test is done to determine if insulin is being produced by the beta cells of the pancreas. People with type 1 diabetes have little or no insulin production and therefore their C-peptide levels are very low.Prevention (Health Lifestyle)
What can you do to prevent your pre-disposition to develop diabetes? Most health experts recommend you stay active, maintain an ideal body weight, and eat a balanced diet high in fiber and healthy fats, and low in simple sugars. Have your blood glucose checked routinely.Diabetes Prevention Trial
A large clinical trial was conducted from 1998 to 2001 by the National Institutes of Health. The participants who lost weight and increased their physical activity reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 60 percent.