Diabetes

Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes: What’s the Difference?

type 1 vs type 2 diabetes
type 1 vs type 2 diabetes

Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

All About Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease. It’s also called Juvenile onset diabetes and Insulin-dependent diabetes. This ailment affects a more significant proportion of children than adults. The affected adults are usually of average weight at the commencement of the disease. It has been found that fair-complexioned persons and certain ethnic groups are more prone to developing Type 1. Approximately 10% of all diabetic patients suffer from Type 1.

It is an autoimmune disease. In other words, the immune system considers the beta cells of the pancreas as a foreign body and destroys them. Beta cells are accountable for producing the hormone insulin. Insulin enables the cells of the body to take in the glucose from the bloodstream and utilize it for various activities. The destruction of the beta cells means that either the production of insulin stops completely or is produced in minimal quantities. This results in high glucose levels in the blood.

The symptoms of Type 1 manifest themselves long after the destruction of the beta cells has begun. These appear in a very short period, usually within a span of a few weeks or months. The symptoms include increased thirst, urination and appetite, fatigue, the dearth of menstruation and abdominal pain, amongst other signs.

Researchers are not yet entirely sure of what exactly causes Type1 diabetes. Studies suggest that genetic, environmental impact and exposure to certain viruses may cause the disease. Some studies have shown a link between breastfeeding babies and reduced risk of Type 1 diabetes. 

The physician will ask you to undergo the routine tests for diabetes, namely fasting plasma glucose test, random plasma glucose test, and oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). A urine sample may also be tested for the presence of ketones. High levels of ketones are dangerous and signify that the patient is suffering from Type 1. Ketones are produced when thebody does not get enough glucose for its energy needs. Consequently, it breaks down the fat and muscle tissues of the body, thus producing ketones.

While this ailment is not curable, it can be managed. If you are diagnosed with Type 1, you will need to undergo insulin replacement therapy daily. The intake of insulin can either be through injections or an insulin pump. You also need to learn how to monitor the blood glucose levels by using a glucometer. Blood sugar levels that are much higher or lower than average are dangerous and can lead to complications.

As a last resort, a pancreas transplant may be considered, especially when the kidney needs to be transplanted or the blood sugar values are volatile. This is done only in advanced cases, as doctors consider the surgery and the immunosuppression required as risky.

More often than not, just maintaining a healthy lifestyle will go a long way in controlling your diabetes.

All About Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease, which is progressive. It’s the most common form of the disease, occurring in 90% of all diabetic patients. It usually affects persons who are overweight, who have had gestational diabetes, have a family history of the disease, and adults over 45 years.

However, the incidence of Type 2 is now seen in younger people, such as obese children and adolescents. humen who lead a sedentary life and have diets rich in fat are prone to this ailment. However, it may also occur in thin persons.

In Type 2, either one of the two situations occurs:

The body produces insufficient insulin, or The insulin, which is produced, is not recognized by the body and consequently not fully utilized. This occurs due to insulin resistance.

The result of both cases is an accumulation of glucose in the blood. Many persons with insulin resistance simultaneously have high blood glucose and insulin levels.

The symptoms of diabetes are often not noticed for a long time. The reason for this may be that the symptoms are not severe and manifest themselves erratically. Some of the symptoms include increased thirst, urination and hunger, hazy vision and slow healing of wounds. If the disease is not diagnosed over a prolonged period, it may lead to complications like eye problems, poor blood circulation, and kidney and heart problems amongst others.

If you feel that you are suffering from the above symptoms and maybe diabetic, you should consult your physician. He will ask you to undergo tests used to diagnose diabetes. At times, diabetes may be diagnosed when you consult the doctor for other medical problems such as unclear vision or when your cholesterol levels are very high.

Type 2 diabetes is not curable. It can, however, be controlled. The key to managing this ailment is to monitor and keep the blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible. In the initial stages, slight changes in your lifestyle can make a significant difference. By making some modifications to your diet, exercising and losing weight, you can keep your blood glucose levels in control.

Studies show that walking briskly for 45 minutes a day can make a world of difference. So can losing about two to five kilograms of weight. This is true if you are overweight. It has been proved that excess weight can hamper the body’s ability to utilize glucose properly.

At times, lifestyle modification may not be enough to keep the blood glucose, cholesterol and pressure levels in control. In these cases, you may need to take medication for controlling the disease. If the insulin production of the body ceases, you will have to begin the intake of insulin from external sources. By monitoring the ailment, you can make sure that you avoid the long-term complications associated with Type 2 diabetes.

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