Adult Onset Diabetes: Former Name for Type 2 Diabetes
past two decades or so, you may have noticed that diabetes has gained
a lot more attention from the medical community, the media, and
the public. The reasons for this are two-fold: first, scientists
have made excellent progress in understanding diabetes, and second,
there have been more cases of type 2, or adult onset diabetes, than
ever before. As knowledge about diabetes has become modernized,
so have the terms used to describe diabetes.
Some prime examples
of these are the terms used to name each type of diabetes. What
was once known as adult onset diabetes is now known as type
2 diabetes. Juvenile diabetes is now called type 1 diabetes.
Renaming the different types of diabetes became necessary because
the former names gave a false impression about the illness. More
specifically, a person can get juvenile or adult onset diabetes
at any time during their lives. You don’t have to be a child
to get juvenile diabetes; likewise, children can get adult onset
diabetes. For reference, here are the main types of diabetes, their
former names, and the main condition of each:
Type 1 Diabetes
(formerly known as childhood-onset diabetes, juvenile diabetes,
and insulin dependent diabetes): an autoimmune disease in which
the body’s immune system attacks the body’s method of
producing insulin. Once the body can no longer make insulin, injections
of insulin are needed daily to live.
Type 2 Diabetes
(formerly known as adult onset diabetes, obesity related diabetes,
and non-insulin dependent diabetes): the body does not produce enough
insulin or the body’s cells ignore the insulin in the bloodstream.
Type 2 diabetes accounts for at least 90 percent of all diabetes
cases and is usually accompanied by risk factors such as obesity,
family history, and a sedentary lifestyle.
Type 3 Diabetes:
this is not an official medical term, but other forms of diabetes
have been variously described as “type 3 diabetes” including
gestational diabetes (being
diabetic while pregnant), insulin dependent type 2 diabetes, latent
autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA), double diabetes (having both
type 1 and type 2), and even Alzheimer’s disease.
Type 2 diabetes,
or adult onset diabetes, shows the most potential in being controlled
or prevented through changes in lifestyle, diet, and diabetes
weight loss. Unfortunately, what was once called “adult
onset diabetes” is now being diagnosed more frequently in
adolescents and children, likely because of weight gain and lack
of exercise in younger generations.