DIABETES
May 25th, 2021
3 mins read

All you need to know about Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational Diabetes

Type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes affect your body in different ways

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes were formerly known as IDDM and NIDDM

Medical management of diabetes involves medicine and lifestyle change

As of 2019, India is home to 77 million diabetics, and the number is going to grow exponentially in the coming years. Studies suggest that it will nearly double to 134 million people by 2045. This is probably because diabetes is lifestyle disease, largely considered to be a product of a sedentary, fast-paced life that puts physical activity and good nutrition on the backburner. 

When diabetes isn’t treated and brought under control, it can culminate in other medical issues such as strokes, vision problems, heart disease, kidney failure, nerve damage, depression and even hearing impairment. However, by educating yourself about diabetes and taking advantage of the constant research and development in diabetes medication, you can manage it and prevent it from hampering your life. Read more to learn about the three main types of diabetes. 

Types of Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes mellitus and gestational diabetes are the three main types of diabetes. All three are different from one another in the way that they affect your body. 

Type 1 Diabetes

Those whose bodies don’t produce insulin are said to have type 1 diabetes, also known as Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus or IDDM. If you suffer from type 1 diabetes, it is because your immune system attacks the insulin-producing beta cells in your pancreas.  

Type 2 Diabetes

The simplest way to explain diabetes mellitus is as follows: It is a state wherein your body is either not producing sufficient insulin, or isn’t able to optimally use the insulin that is being produced. It is also known as Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus or NIDDM. While type 1 diabetes mellitus and type 2 diabetes mellitus have similar symptoms, type 1 diabetes typically affects children, and type 2 diabetes affects those over the ages of 35–40 years. 

Gestational Diabetes

Unlike IDDM and NIDDM, gestational diabetes is specific to a pregnancy. Typically, when a woman is pregnant, her body develops a degree of insulin resistance. If this level is high enough to be considered as diabetes, it is referred to as gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is harmful to both the mother and the baby, but more so to the baby. The infant may have low blood sugar, high birth weight and trouble breathing. In fact, the baby will also be at a higher risk of suffering from diabetes later on in life. 

The medical management of diabetes mellitus (type 1) involves the patient taking insulin via injections or an insulin pump. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is typically treated via medication, exercise and diet control. Gestational diabetes is categorized as A1 or A2 depending on its severity, and treated accordingly. Class A1 cases can be controlled through diet and exercise alone, whereas Class A2 cases require medication as well. 

Also Read: Sign and Symptoms of Diabetes

Risk Factors for Various Types of Diabetes

By knowing what the common risk factors are for various types of diabetes, you can keep an eye for symptoms and contact a diabetologist at the earliest, if need be.  

Risk Factors for Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus 

  • An immediate family member, such as a sibling, or both parents having type 1 diabetes mellitus  
  • Presence of diabetes autoantibodies or certain genes 
  • Geographical location, as per preliminary studies 
  • Environmental factors and exposure to certain viruses 

Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus 

  • Suffering from PCOS and/or depression 
  • Having had gestational diabetes in the past 
  • Having a family history type 2 diabetes mellitus 
  • Being over the age of 40 years 
  • Having low levels of good cholesterol and elevated levels of triglycerides 
  • Being overweight, having excessive fatty tissue and/or high levels of inactivity 

Risk Factors for Gestational Diabetes 

  • Being over the age of 25 years 
  • Diagnosed as a prediabetic 
  • Being overweight
  • Having a family history of type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy
  • An unhealthy diet 
  • Unexplained stillbirths (in the past)

Also Read: 7 Fat Burning Foods That Will Help You With Weight Loss

gestational diabetes

Dos and Don’ts for Gestational Diabetes

While gestational diabetes can seem worrying, the good news is that you can manage it yourself to a great extent. Here are some basic dos and don’ts to keep in mind. 

Eat Healthily

Step one is to focus on incorporating healthy foods into your gestational diabetes diet. This means eating plenty of fresh vegetables and proteins, through small meals spaced throughout the day. While fruits are healthy, it’s best to avoid high-sugar fruits and include ones like berries that are low in sugar and have plenty of fibre. 

It’s best to eliminate artificial sweeteners, simple carbohydrates, large portion sizes, fast food, fried food and baked treats from your gestational diabetes diet.

Exercise Regularly

Exercising consistently will help you boost your glucose metabolism and lose weight too. This is important if your weight has led to gestational diabetes. Light walking, yoga and swimming are excellent options, but it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor to understand which low-impact options will be ideal for you.

Monitor your Sugar Levels

The best thing you can do for yourself is to monitor your sugar levels regularly and keep up with all doctor’s appointments. This way you can stay one step ahead of the disease and take any corrective action you need to at the earliest. 

While consulting with a specialist is imperative when you have gestational diabetes, the same is true for type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus as well. Only by consulting with a doctor at periodic intervals can you manage this condition and prevent it from triggering other illnesses or hampering your quality of life. Fortunately, you can find the best diabetologists in your city on Bajaj Finserv Health. Whether you want to know what the ideal gestational diabetes range is or learn about the pathophysiology of diabetes mellitus type 2, you can find an experienced specialist here to answer all your questions.  

Book an online or in-person appointment with a leading diabetologist. What’s more, you can get access to special discounts, health plans and medicine reminders too!

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