Diabetes is actually five different diseases
Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common diseases affecting a significant part of the world’s population. It develops due to the absence or lack of the pancreatic hormone insulin, which is responsible for the absorption of glucose. If the hormone in the blood is insufficient or it does not cope with its function, then a persistent increase in the amount of glucose in the blood begins (hyperglycemia). Diabetes mellitus is usually divided into two main types. But not so long ago, studies of Scandinavian scientists appeared, which prove that in fact diabetes is five different diseases, which are divided into separate groups. And the disease should be treated based on which group the disease belongs to. But for now, let’s take a look at the 2 main types into which it is customary to divide diabetes all over the world.
- SD of the first type. People of different ages suffer from it, and the disease can occur spontaneously. It appears due to the fact that beta cells that produce insulin do not work well in the human body. Due to the low production of this hormone, patients become dependent on insulin injections. They have to buy and inject expensive drugs for the rest of their lives;
- SD of the second type. This type of disease is also called obesity diabetes. As a rule, it occurs in people over 40 years old. In this case, the hormone is released in normal amounts, but it is not absorbed. Over time, beta cells become depleted, which reduces the production of the hormone.
Due to the disease, a person develops disorders of fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism. The lack of timely treatment leads to the most frightening consequences. Due to diabetes, people often become disabled or even die. In other cases, complications are not so terrible, but patients are forced to take various drugs and injections of insulin for the rest of their lives. The higher the blood sugar level, the more pronounced the negative effects of the disease.
Studies show that about a quarter of people with diabetes are not even aware of their condition. This is due to the fact that in some cases, at the initial stages of the course of the disease, there are practically no symptoms, or people simply do not pay attention to them, attributing everything to fatigue or other health problems.
The main symptoms of diabetes
Despite the different forms of the disease, type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus is almost always the same. The main symptoms include:
- Great thirst and, as a result, a constant urge to urinate;
- Numbness of the limbs;
- Frequent tiredness
- A noticeable increase or decrease in appetite;
- Decreased libido;
- Difficult healing wounds;
- Long course of infections;
- Vision problems (deterioration, blurred vision);
- Heart problems.
Individually and together, these symptoms may indicate developing diabetes mellitus. But it is worth remembering that often the first signs of the disease are subtle, so many people seek help even when the disease progresses strongly. There are three main stages in the course of the disease:
- Compensation stage. The patient’s well-being improves markedly, he feels healthy. The main symptoms of the disease do not appear, the blood glucose level is within normal limits. The drugs are effective;
- Subcompensation stage. The patient’s state of health deteriorates somewhat. Dry mouth and intense thirst appear. The glucose level is abnormal, but hypoglycemic signs are not always present;
- Decompensation stage. The symptoms of the disease appear clearly and fully. It becomes impossible to control blood sugar levels with drugs. It is at this stage that severe complications appear, after which problems arise with the functioning of internal organs. The patient often requires intensive care. He develops all the chronic complications of diabetes, and a person at this stage may remain disabled or even die.
Failure to comply with the recommendations of doctors leads to decompensation. This can be a refusal to take medications, emotional or physical stress, stress, non-compliance with the diet. In the most severe forms of the disease, patients never manage to return to the compensation stage, so it is very important to adhere to the advice of the attending physician and not violate the regimen.
Research by Swedish and Finnish scientists
Not so long ago, a group of Scandinavian scientists conducted an interesting study that, they believe, will help in the treatment of such a dangerous disease as diabetes. It is customary for specialists and doctors to divide diabetes mellitus into type 1 and type 2, but a group of Finnish and Swedish scientists argue that there are actually five different diseases. As the scientists themselves say, and they are supported by many experts, this study may help cure diabetes, but it is too early to talk about it. On March 1, the results of this very study were published in one authoritative publication. During their work, scientists examined about 15 thousand people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. As a result, they came to sensational conclusions: in fact, diabetes can be divided not into 2 types, as is customary to do now, but into as many as 5 narrower groups. Scientists suggest dividing diabetes into the following groups:
- Group-1. Seriously ill people with autoimmune diabetes. It develops at a young age in people who seem completely healthy and do not complain about their well-being. This group is similar to the first classic type of diabetes, when the human body stops producing the hormone insulin in sufficient quantities;
- Group-2. Insulin deficient patients. As in the first case, young and completely healthy people with normal weight suffer. In this group, patients do not have an autoimmune disease, but at some point the body stops producing insulin in the required amount. Often, patients in this group have serious vision problems;
- Group-3. It includes patients who are overweight and dependent on insulin. In this case, insulin is produced in normal amounts, but it is not absorbed as it should. Patients in this group have an increased risk of renal failure;
- Group-4. Moderate diabetes that occurs in obese people who have a normal metabolism;
- Group-5. Moderate diabetes, which manifests itself mainly in old age. The main difference from other groups is that the disease manifests itself much milder, and there are practically no symptoms.
One of the main causes of diabetes mellitus is genetic predisposition. If there are blood relatives suffering from diabetes, then you are at risk, especially if you have an unhealthy lifestyle. Also, the causes of the onset of the disease can be overweight, past illnesses, frequent stress, abuse of sweets, unhealthy diet and more.
How to treat diabetes
Patients who dream of getting rid of such an ailment as diabetes mellitus can be understood. Lifelong dieting, taking various sugar – lowering drugs, insulin injections, feeling unwell – hardly anyone will like all this. In addition, drugs cost a lot of money, and you can’t refuse them. It is for these reasons that many patients believe advertisements for various miraculous drugs, the developers of which promise to get rid of diabetes. However, all endocrinologists unanimously claim that today this disease cannot be treated. It is chronic, and even the most modern drugs are aimed only at lowering blood sugar and increasing insulin levels, but not at getting rid of the problem itself. Alternative medicine treatments can be both costly and deadly. Not taking the prescribed drugs, a person puts his health at risk, and irreversible changes begin to occur in his body, which can lead to the most sad consequences.
What research gives
The research results obtained by Scandinavian scientists cannot be overestimated. The findings that diabetes is actually five different diseases can be used at the time of diagnosis to prescribe more correct and effective treatment. This is a big step towards more precise medicine. But will this research help cure diabetes once and for all? It is still too early to talk about this, because most scientists, doctors and specialists agree that this will not be possible in the near future.
Many experts knew before these studies that there are more than two types of diabetes mellitus.
Despite the high level of development of medicine, they have not yet learned how to treat diabetes mellitus, and soon it will hardly be possible to do this. However, the results obtained make it possible to personalize the treatment regimen, which potentially reduces the risk of future complications in the patient. And this is definitely a step in the right direction.