What is Diabetes? – Definition, Types, Causes, Symptoms & More


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What is Diabetes?

Diabetes can define by a chronic elevation of blood sugar in the blood (blood sugar). After a meal, the sugar in food is partly transformed into glucose. It passes into the blood, and we then observe an increase in blood sugar.

People who live with Diabetes will face unexpected challenges such as qualifying for affordable insurance plans.  Matt Schmidt of Diabetes 365 mentions ” Any time you have a type of Diabetes you’ll soon discover the health, life, and disability insurance won’t be easy to qualify for.  As an example, life insurance for diabetics will be more expensive compared to non diabetics.  We’re seeing premiums for life insurance for type 1 diabetics be 25%-40% higher in some situations.  It’s very important to work with specialty groups to secure the best priced plans”

In addition, to lower this blood sugar, the pancreas produces a hormone: Insulin binds to a receptor in the body’s cells and allows glucose to pass from the blood to the cells to be metabolized (used or stored).

In the case of diabetes, the regulation of blood sugar is no longer ensure either because:

  • The pancreas is not producing enough insulin
  • Either the body cannot properly use insulin.

What are the Types of Diabetes?


Type 1 Diabetes or [Insulin-Dependent Diabetes]

Definition of Type 1

Diabetes type 1 or insulin-dependent [diabetes] occurs most often in young people. This [diabetes] occurs when the beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin are destroyed by the body’s immune system: this is called an autoimmune disease. Insulin secretion is insufficient; regulation of blood sugar is no longer ensure.

Symptoms of Type 1

sometimes the symptoms of type 1 [diabetes] appear suddenly. Moreover, the most common symptoms are:

  • intense thirst (or polydipsia),
  • frequent urge to urinate with abundant urine (or polyuria),
  • and rapid weight loss despite a satisfactory diet.

Causes of Type 1

Despite advances in technology and research, the causes of type 1 [diabetes] remain unknown to this day. A genetic predisposition and the environment play a role in the onset of this [diabetes].


Due to the lack of insulin production, type 1 [diabetes] can only treat with insulin intake. Solutions adapted to each patient are propose: multi-injections or insulin pumps.

Type 2 Diabetes or [Non-Insulin-Dependent Diabetes]:

Definition of Type 2

Type 2 diabetes or non-insulin-dependent [diabetes] accounts for 90% of diabetes encountered worldwide. Type 2 [diabetes] usually occurs in adulthood, but it can occur in children.

In this diabetes, there is initially a blockage of the action of insulin (called insulin resistance). decreasing the storage and the use of glucose by the cells. Secondly, the production of insulin by the pancreas gradually decreases, leading to the appearance of hyperglycemia.

Symptoms of Type 2

Unlike type 1 diabetes, the symptoms of type 2 [diabetes] often go unnoticed. Several years may pass between the onset of [diabetes] and the diagnosis of it. It is usually diagnose after the onset of complications.


Type 2 [diabetes] most often appears in sedentary people (overweight, obesity). The risk may increase if there is a family history.

If a healthy lifestyle is adopted very early, the risk may reduce.


Above all,  a balanced diet and regular physical activity are the first measures to consider in this type of [diabetes]. In addition, if these measures are not sufficient, treatment with tablets or by injection may be prescribe, treatment with insulin may prove necessary with the course of the disease.

Gestational Diabetes


Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy, usually towards the end of the Second(2) quarter. This [diabetes] affects between 2 and 6% of pregnant women.

Most often, this type of diabetes lasts only during pregnancy, but more rarely, it can reveal a [diabetes] present before pregnancy and unknown. Like diabetes, gestational diabetes is a disorder of blood sugar regulation that causes excess blood sugar.


Most often, gestational [diabetes] does not cause symptoms.
The screening can perform in pregnant women at risk during the First(1) antenatal and between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy.


At some stage in pregnancy, there is a state of insulin resistance, and the body is less sensitive to the effects of insulin, which usually regulates blood sugar.

A family predisposition, a high body mass index (BMI greater than or equal to 25 kg / m²), and an age of more than 35 years at the start of pregnancy can increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes.

The Risks

Gestational diabetes exposes mothers and children to different risks:

For the Child

macrosomia: it is the most frequent complication in gestational diabetes. It is characterize by excessive weight and growth of the fetus (large baby, more than 4 kg)

In the long term, a child born to a mother who has had gestational [diabetes] is at risk of developing metabolic complications. Monitoring of the child’s weight and / or blood pressure should be indicated;

For the Mother

gestational [diabetes] exposes the mother to an increased risk of pre-eclampsia and cesarean section.

Meanwhile, to avoid complications for the child and the mother, monitoring diabetes is essential.

Gestational Diabetes Monitoring

The treatment of gestational diabetes is base on hygieno-dietetic measures: a balanced diet and appropriate physical activity.

In addition, the use of glycemic self-monitoring is essential to monitor the development of [diabetes]. If hygiene and diet measures are not sufficient to lower blood sugar, treatment with insulin may be prescribe.

Other Types of Diabetes

There are other types of diabetes, such as MODY diabetes ( MODY [diabetes] or Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young), which occurs during a genetic defect in beta cells.

Diabetes can be triggered by another illness (cirrhosis, etc.) or by certain drugs useful for treating certain serious illnesses. The prevalence of other types of [diabetes] is very low.


On the other hand, [diabetes] is often said to be a silent disease. It sometimes appears and progresses without symptoms.

In type 2 [diabetes], symptoms often go unnoticed for several years.

In the absence of symptoms, type 2 [diabetes] can be discover incidentally during a blood test prescribed by the doctor with a blood sugar level.

Sometimes [diabetes] is suspected when symptoms related to ocular, nervous, cardiovascular, or renal complications are identified.

The Type 1 diabetes is manifest by symptoms which may appear more or less abruptly; the main symptoms are:

  • intense thirst (or polydipsia),
  • frequent urge to urinate with abundant urine (or polyuria),
  • rapid weight loss despite a satisfactory diet.

In addition, other symptoms may appear fatigue, vision problems, or urinary tract infections.
Resuming nocturnal urination in bed in a clean child can be a symptom of [diabetes].

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