Diabetes: 5 new subcategories to detect it more accurately. Find out what they are!

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Until recently we could state with certainty that diabetes was a disease classifiable under 3 widely studied modalities: type 1 diabetes; type 2 diabetes (Mellitus); and gestational diabetes. However, today it has been possible to determine that there are subgroups within the already known modalities. Without a doubt, this finding is extremely important since it could allow treatments to be more specific, taking into account the diabetic subgroup in which the patient is found. 

Without much discrimination, we frequently hear people refer to a diabetic person as someone who has problems with sugar. and that usually have higher than normal blood levels. Certainly, this is the first characteristic that identifies the known types of diabetes, whether it is type 1, type 2 diabetes (Mellitus), gestational diabetes, or pre-diabetes itself, which although it is not within the classification, in could actually be assumed to be mild diabetes.  

The truth of the matter is that each of these types of diabetes has its specific origin and this gives it its own characteristics that make them differentiate from one another. 

Until now, diabetes was basically known in three ways: 

Type 1 diabetes : autoimmune condition that occurs when the body naturally cannot produce the hormone insulin responsible for transporting glucose to cells. Its appearance takes place during the first years of life. 

Type 2 diabetes: it usually occurs in adulthood, although today the percentage of children with type 2 diabetes is increasing. In this case the point of origin is found in an unhealthy diet and a sedentary lifestyle. The vast majority of those who suffer from it also become overweight or obese.

Gestational diabetes is basically type 2 diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. 

...And now how is that about 5 subgroups of diabetes!

Following investigations carried out jointly between the Universities of Lund, in Sweden, and the Finnish Institute of Molecular Medicine, respectively, it was determined that in a group of 15,000 Finnish and Swedish patients, 5 subgroups linked to variants of diabetes were identified already known. 

In the research that was published by the journal The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, it is pointed out that each of these subgroups are totally different from each other, since they respond to different genetic types in which they are included: the ages at which manifest, as well as the many risks and complications associated with each condition.

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"This is definitely going to be the future of how we look at diabetes as a disease."

Dr Victoria Salem, clinical researcher at Imperial College London

What are the new diabetes subgroups?

Group 1 (Severe autoimmune diabetes)

This group basically refers to type 1 diabetes —which we all already know— which is considered an autoimmune disease because it affects the normal production of insulin, resulting in uncontrolled blood sugar levels. Mainly, it is a condition that occurs in children and young people with apparently normal health conditions, and who do not have overweight or obesity problems. 

Group 2 (severe diabetes due to insulin deficiency) 

Like the first group, these patients are apparently healthy children and young people who present problems in insulin production overnight. The big difference between this condition and the previous one lies in the fact that the fault is not in the immune system, as in group 1, but in a defect present in its beta cells, which are responsible for producing insulin. In this case, patients are at increased risk of blindness.

Group 3 (severe diabetes due to insulin resistance)

This condition can fall under what is known as type 2 diabetes. In this case, people are able to produce the hormone insulin, but the problem is mainly that their body does not respond to it. Generally, those affected by this condition are overweight. These patients have the highest risk of kidney disease.

Group 4 (moderate diabetes related to obesity)

People affected by this condition, although, unlike group 3, do not have such altered metabolic values, they do tend to be obese. 

Group 5 (moderate age-related diabetes) 

It is a condition that is directly linked to the natural degeneration that occurs over time and that affects older people.

"This is extremely important, we are taking a real step towards precision medicine"

He told the BBC Leif Groop, one of the academics who participated in the study.

Now that the picture is a little clearer, it is important that if you are a person suffering from diabetes, you can determine with your GP which subgroup you could be belonging to in order to receive adequate treatment to counteract the main conditions that each condition presents. 

I sincerely hope that the information contained in this article has been useful to you in some way!

Remember that the purpose of this blog is to share all the information on physical, mental and spiritual health that we see fit to transmit in this way. At no time do we seek to replace the diagnosis, or medical prescription that only trained health personnel are empowered to provide. In our blog we only expose relevant information that can help, in one way or another, our readers to travel this wonderful path in search of total well-being! 

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