Explained: 5 New Types of Diabetes


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Depending on your viewpoint, diabetes has just become somewhat more complicated or more understandable. Researchers in Scandinavia suggested defining diabetes as five different diseases rather than the two already recognized categories.
What are these various species, though, and why did the researchers choose this course of action?

A person with diabetes has blood sugar (glucose) levels that are excessively high. According to the Centers for Condition Control and Prevention, about 30 million individuals in the United States have diabetes, making it a disease that is becoming more and more widespread. A hormone has been found to help glucose enter cells in persons with type 1 diabetes, which is most prevalent in children, impairing the body’s ability to produce insulin. The immune system of the body destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, resulting in this disease.

In type 2 diabetes, the body has trouble producing or utilizing insulin. The majority of the time, this problem begins with insulin resistance, which means that even though the body is still producing hormones, the cells do not respond to insulin. The illness typically affects middle-aged or older persons, and weight and lifestyle choices are likely to have a role.

However, researchers discovered that diabetes patients in Sweden and Finland grouped into five groups in the current study, which was published in the journal Endocrinology. The other four clusters were “subtypes” of type 2 whereas one of the clusters resembled type 1 diabetes. Two of the clusters were thought to be mild versions of the disease, while three were thought to be serious.


D., a Wexner Medical Center endocrinologist at The Ohio State University who wasn’t a part of the study. Although Kathleen Wyne emphasized that the new classification might be very helpful, researchers do not advocate getting rid of kinds 1 and type; on the contrary, they suggest that there exist subtypes.

The diagnostic or the language for the diagnosis are unaffected by this, according to Wyne. She said that it offers a technique to divide the diagnosis into “type 1 and type 2.”


The sets included

Cluster 1: This type of diabetes, sometimes known as “severe autoimmune diabetes,” is comparable to type 1. People in this cluster did not gain weight and were quite young when they were diagnosed. They were unable to produce insulin due to an autoimmune illness of the immune system.

Cluster 2: This type, sometimes known as “severe insulin deficit diabetes,” resembled cluster 1. When they were diagnosed, the patients were neither particularly old or overweight. Additionally, they weren’t making a lot of insulin. Most crucially, though, immune system disorders were not brought on by it. People in this group claimed to have type 1 diabetes, referring to “the whole world,” but claimed not to have the “autoantibodies” associated with type 1. Although the cause of this is unknown, individuals in this group may lack insulin-producing cells.

Cluster 3: People with insulin resistance, or the condition in which the body produces insulin but the cells do not respond to it, are more likely to develop this kind of diabetes, also known as severe insulin-resistant diabetes.

Cluster 4: People with this kind, known as “mild obesity-related diabetes,” typically had a milder form of the disease, less metabolic issues than cluster 3, and were more likely to be fat.

Cluster 5: People with this kind, known as “mild age-related diabetes,” were older when they were diagnosed than those with cluster 4. About 40% of the participants in this study had this kind of diabetes, making it the most prevalent type.

The risk of kidney disease, a complication of diabetes, is highest in persons in cluster 3, while the risk of retinopathy, another complication of diabetes that can result in vision loss, is highest in people in cluster 2.

The researchers claimed that groups 2 and 3 were severe forms of diabetes “masked under type 2 diabetes.” The authors suggested that individuals in these clusters would gain from receiving additional medical care to ward off diabetes problems.

enhanced diagnosis

Wyne Live Science asserts that understanding diabetes subgroups may alter how medical professionals prescribe diabetic medications.


According to Wyne, the algorithm employed to treat type 2 diabetes is currently almost entirely one-dimensional. Metformin is typically given to patients as their first medication, and if that doesn’t help, further medications are added. But he added that understanding the subtypes can assist physicians in selecting a first, second, or third drug for their patients. Future studies should investigate these issues, according to the researchers, who could not establish that each of the five diabetes clusters had a unique etiology or whether a person’s classification would alter over time. The researchers also noted whether additional metrics, such as genetic markers or blood pressure readings, might be used in future studies to further refine the clusters.

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