Research shows there are not two types of diabetes, but five
Diabetes was classified in 1959 by Solomon Berson and Rosalyn Yalow using radioimmunoassay technology into two types as:
Type 1diabetes which is actually an autoimmune disease where the body’s own immune system starts attacking the beta cells in the islet cells of Langerhans that produce insulin. As a result, no insulin is secreted and glucose levels in the blood are not regulated. This type 1 diabetes is encountered in the age groups of 10 and 14 and they need to take regularly the insulin injection to support the body’s glucose regulation.
Type 2 diabetes is an insulin resistant condition where our body no longer reacts to the insulin as they are intended to. This case is so common that it accounts for about 90% of registered cases and it is usually associated with obese people. The target group is usually who are above 40.
This classification does not holds anymore as recent research in Sweden and Finland shows that diabetes is becoming complex day by day and now it blooms to five types or clusters where
Cluster 1 is holds almost the same definition as traditional Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease where the patient’s body halts the production of insulin. The blood test will show the presence of antibodies, a protective protein of the immune system. These patients are susceptible to high complications.
Cluster 2 is also like cluster 1 but here the pancreas is not attacked by any sort of antibodies. This could possibly be an autoimmune case but yet the researchers have not recognised any antibodies that could perhaps be associated with the disease. These patients are highly vulnerable to ophthalmic complications.
Cluster 3 is similar to Type 2 diabetes which is most commonly prevalent in overweight people. Here not enough amount of insulin is produced or the body no longer reacts to the insulin produced as they would be earlier. Thus the glucose levels in the blood rises and it primarily affects kidney.
Cluster 4 is also like Cluster 3 but here the patients do not encounter any complications. Just their sugar levels are not regulated.
Cluster 5 is registered in people who are above 65. Here also patients don’t experience any major ramification. It is usually feeble.
But all these findings are based on minimal population. For longer run, a large study must be carried out. However the way we handle diabetes is going to change in the near future.