Diabetes in young is a very common concept that is known to everyone and people associate it generally with type 1 diabetes.
There is quite less awareness about the maturity-onset diabetes of the young also called MODY and neonatal diabetes (which are the forms of monogenic diabetes), its root causes and execution. They are not known to many as they are the rarest forms.
Only 1 to 4% of diabetic people are diagnosed with this condition at either early teenage or at the beginning of adulthood.
MODY (Maturity-Onset Diabetes Of The Young)
MODY is caused by a change or mutation in a single gene in a child who has inherited it from any of the parents under the teenage (normally before 20 to 25 age). There are also cases in which MODY is diagnosed spontaneously irrespective of the age factor.
It is the rarest form and hence can’t be diagnosed easily. Many times it is misinterpreted with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Only 1-3 % of people with a diabetic state are diagnosed with MODY.
Types Of MODY
Types of the MODY is associated with the gene involved in the process and hence the names are defined as:
- HNF1 alpha: Most of the cases that are diagnosed as MODY are because of this gene-HNF1 alpha. With the presence of this gene, diabetes is developed at the age of early twenties or in adolescence. People diagnosed with this diabetes need not take Insulin. They are just treated with a medicine sulphonylureas that is often prescribed in type 2 diabetic cases.
- HNF4 alpha: This is rarest of the rarest diagnosed gene of MODY. It is also treated with the same medication sulphonylureas but, insulin can be progressed on to the child somewhere during the treatment. In this case, the child may have very low blood sugar at the time or soon after birth.
- HNF1-Beta: People diagnosed with this type of diabetes have a lot of complications and Insulin is also essential. Cysts can be discovered inside the womb.
- Glucokinase: This gene helps in diagnosing the level of blood glucose. It is a key regulator enzyme in beta cells of the pancreas.
Neonatal Diabetes Mellitus
As in the case of all other diabetics, in neonatal diabetes also, the ability of the body to produce insulin is affected in infants. This form can be seen in infants within six months after birth. In this case, the infant’s body could not produce enough insulin that is required and hence glucose starts accumulating in the blood. When glucose starts accumulating in the bloodstream, the blood sugar level keeps on rising and if it retains for a long time then, it may lead to serious damage and complexities to body organs, blood vessels, and nerves.
This early occurrence of neonatal diabetes is caused by a gene mutation and hence genetic testing is performed to diagnose it in infants.
The two main types of neonatal diabetes are permanent and transient. The former stays lifelong whereas the latter one is found only at the time of birth and disappears within a year after birth. However, it can come back any time in the life ahead and hence these children should always be kept under supervision by maintaining their proper diet and physical activities.