What Kind of Type 2 Diabetes Do You Have?

If a basic blood test shows you’ve had elevated blood glucose levels for at least three months, you may be diagnosed with diabetes. Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 is typically linked to genetics. But Type 2 is more frequently caused by a long list of lifestyle factors that contribute to diabetes over time.

Either way, a diagnoses can help you treat, manage, and sometimes even reverse diabetes. But not everyone with Type 2 diabetes responds to medication and lifestyle changes the same way.

And that’s a problem a team of researchers in Finland and Sweden wanted to solve. Researchers studied a group of 14,775 adults recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and looked for differentiators. They found that Type 2 diabetes can be different based on a long list of factors such as:

  • Ethnicity
  • Age
  • Weight
  • Level of insulin resistance
  • Kidney health
  • Metabolism
  • Immune system function

Why does it matter? It’s a step in the right direction to improve medications and treatment practices to help people with Type 2 diabetes. And that’s important when an estimated 29 million people have Type 2 diabetes, and about 86 million people have prediabetes. This research may help to identify Type 2 diabetes subtypes to help improve care.

“Finding those subtypes will help us personalize treatments and potentially reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications in the future,” says Dr. Emily Burns, Head of Research Communications for Diabetes UK. “This research takes a promising step toward breaking down Type 2 diabetes in more detail, but we still need to know more about these subtypes before we can understand what this means for people living with the condition.

That means it might be awhile before subtypes of Type 2 diabetes can be defined and diagnosed with standardized clinical tests.

In the meantime, eating more plant-based foods is a great way to improve your diet, manage your weight, and control diabetes. And it doesn’t have to be hard. Pick your favorites from the Diabetic-Friendly menu, and you have a healthy, and tasty meal ready in minutes.