Did you know that there is a type of diabetes that looks like type 2 but appears before you turn 25? In this article we tell you about it.

We all know the most common types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational. But there are others that are not so common. This is the case of MODY diabetes. In this article we explain in detail its characteristics, symptoms and how it varies from type 2 diabetes.

This is not the only rare type. There are others that also belong to this group such as diabetes developed by Wolfram Syndrome, Labil diabetes or Permanent Neonatal Diabetes (PNDM).

What is MODY diabetes?


MODY is a type of diabetes that happens in young people. Usually under the age of 25. It is named after its acronym Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young.

Because it is diagnosed during adulthood, it is usually mistaken for type 2 diabetes. But the causes of type MODY have nothing to do with type 2. This type of diabetes is caused by a mutation of some genes. This affects the growth of the cells that produce insulin (pancreatic beta cells), so it also affects the production of insulin.

In people with MODY diabetes there is no autoimmunity against the cells that create insulin, so the pancreas keeps on creating it. They also do not have insulin resistance.

As a general rule, its appearance is caused by hereditary genetics. Mutated genes are passed from parents to children without needing both parents to have the condition. Sometimes it can also happen without this genetic heritage, but these cases are rare.

Depending on the gene involved, there are different types of MODY diabetes. The most usual ones are the three below:

  • MODY 1: Mutation in the HNF4A gene. Causes the body to produce less insulin.
  • MODY 2: Mutation in the glucokinase (GK) gene. When this gene is mutated, there is less ability to detect blood glucose levels. This leads to the release of an amount of insulin that is not okay.
  • MODY 3: Mutation in the HNF1A gene. In this case there is progressive damage to the cells that produce insulin and, as a result, there is less insulin secreted.

What are the symptoms of MODY type diabetes?


MODY diabetes has its own symptoms. But, it also has some symptoms that it shares with type 2 diabetes:

  • Increased blood glucose levels.
  • No insulin resistance.
  • Feeling of thirst.
  • Weight loss.
  • Need to urinate frequently.
  • Diagnosed before the age of 25 years.
  • Passed from generation to generation.
  • The person is not usually overweight or obese.

What are the differences between type MODY and type 2?


Even though they are sometimes mixed up, MODY and type 2 diabetes have some major differences:

  • Why it develops: While type 2 diabetes comes from a failure of the pancreas, type MODY comes from a genetic mutation.
  • Age of diagnosis: Usually people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are older than 45 years. But MODY is diagnosed before the age of 25.
  • Insulin resistance: People with type MODY do not have insulin resistance, but those with type 2 do.

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