November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Since blue is the color for diabetes, this month, I’ll be posting photos of something blue, with a short write-up on diabetes. Chances are the photos and the write-up have nothing to do with each other.
Diabetes is a chronic disease where the body becomes resistant to insulin or does not make enough insulin necessary to enable the body’s cells and muscles to use blood glucose. In either case, blood glucose builds up in the blood. Over time, high glucose levels lead to complications.
There are different types of diabetes, as there are different shades of blue. The more common types are:
- Type 1: the body produces no or almost no insulin and so the diabetic needs insulin shots.
- Type 2: characterized by insulin resistance (i.e., cells and muscles do not respond to insulin).
- Type 1.5: sometimes called LADA or Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults, a slowly progressing form of Type 1. Many people diagnosed as Type 2 are actually Type 1.5.
- Gestational diabetes: occurs during pregnancy.
- Others: yes, there are other types of diabetes.
There is also pre-diabetes which is a condition in which the blood glucose is higher than normal but is not high enough to be Type 2 diabetes.
Contrary to what Tom Hanks tweeted, each type of diabetes is serious.
Also, the diabetes numbers 1, 1.5 and 2 do not represent stages in diabetes. So, Types 1.5 and 2 are not the “mild versions” or “early stages”, and Type 1 is not the “full-blown version”, of diabetes. They are different types.