Type 1 diabetes accounts for roughly 10% of the diabetes cases in the world with the majority being Type 2. An estimated 1-5% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes are rare types, such as latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA), maturity onset diabetes in the young (MODY), cystic fibrosis related diabetes (CFRD), Cushing’s syndrome and others. Explore these various forms of diabetes and what makes them distinct in the diabetes family.
Editor’s Note: If you have a form of diabetes that is not on this list, please let us know at email@example.com.
What is Type 1 Diabetes?Type 1 diabetes is a chronic, autoimmune condition that occurs when the body’s own immune system attacks the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. This attack leaves the pancreas with little or no ability to produce insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Without insulin, sugar stays in the blood and can cause serious damage to organ systems, causing people to experience Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).READ MORE
What is Type 2 Diabetes?Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body cannot properly use insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar. This is also known as insulin resistance. In Type 2, the pancreas initially produces extra insulin, but eventually cannot keep up with production in order to keep blood sugar levels in check. Of the 415 million diabetes cases globally, 90% are estimated to be Type 2.READ MORE
What is Gestational Diabetes?Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a form of diabetes that affects pregnant women, and occurs in 1 in 25 pregnancies worldwide. It is caused by the malfunctioning of insulin receptors, due to the presence of hormones from the placenta. It develops usually around the 24th week of pregnancy and will continue to affect both the mother and unborn child throughout the pregnancy.READ MORE
What is LADA?LADA, (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults) diabetes is rare and known as “late-onset” diabetes. Most adults diagnosed with LADA are older than 30 years of age. It’s progression is slow; sometimes causing a misdiagnosis of Type 2 diabetes. LADA patients, (like Type 2), may initially use oral medication, exercise and diet to manage their diabetes, but eventually, the pancreas will altogether stop producing insulin, (like Type 1), thus necessitating insulin injections. This can take anywhere from a few months after diagnosis to several years. READ MORE
What is Monogenic Diabetes?Monogenic diabetes is a rare type of diabetes that's caused by a single gene mutation. It accounts for about 1-2% of all diabetes cases, though its prevalence may actually be up to 5%. It has characteristics of both Type 1 and Type 2, and is often misdiagnosed as one of those more common types.READ MORE
What is Brittle Diabetes?Brittle diabetes is a rare form of insulin-dependent diabetes and is marked by frequent and severe episodes of hypoglycemia and/or hyperglycemia (DKA). This instability of blood sugar levels often leads to hospitalization and necessitates frequent self-monitoring of blood glucose, the use of an insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitoring device (CGM). In rare cases, a pancreas transplant may be necessary.READ MORE
What is Wolfram Syndrome?Wolfram Syndrome, also called DIDMOAD (diabetes insipidus, diabetes mellitus, optic atrophy, and deafness), is a rare genetic disorder that causes Type 1 diabetes and other serious conditions from excessively high blood sugars. It usually occurs in children by the age of 6 and Type 1 diabetes is the first symptom.READ MORE
What is Cystic Fibrosis-related Diabetes?People who have cystic fibrosis (CF) have excessive, thick mucus, which in turn can scar the pancreas. If scarring occurs, the pancreas stops producing normal amounts of insulin, causing the person to become "insulin deficient" like someone with Type 1 diabetes. Sometimes, a person with CFRD may not be able to absorb the insulin like someone with Type 2 diabetes, making them, (like Type 2), "insulin resistant."READ MORE
What is chronic pancreatitis-associated diabetes?Pancreatic diabetes is caused by chronic pancreatitis, a prolonged inflammation of the pancreas, which causes extensive damage to exocrine tissue. When acute hyperglycemia develops, the islet cells of the organ become damaged and can no longer produce insulin, causing the person to become insulin dependent for life. READ MORE