Diabetes is a word that’s often thrown around in conversation or in media coverage due to increasing awareness of this ever-growing disease. The information can be very confusing, as there are different types of diabetes with different causes, symptoms, and risk groups. Diabetes is typically diagnosed as either type 1 or type 2, and they can be quite different.
Here are some key differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes is also called juvenile diabetes due to the fact that most individuals with this disease are diagnosed before the age 20. Type 1 is an autoimmune disorder with no known cause, except for the possibility of being passed down through genetics.
Healthy bodies produce insulin in order to break down glucose from the food we eat and help the body’s cells to absorb it for energy. If you have type 1 diabetes, your body produces cells that create insulin but your body mistakes these cells as foreign bodies and destroys them, preventing you from producing insulin. In these cases, you are not able to absorb the necessary glucose without regular injections of insulin.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type in the United States, and primarily affects individuals over the age of 45, those with high blood pressure or cholesterol, those with 120% or more of the recommended body weight, and those with a family history from a first-degree relative. Type 2 is brought on very slowly and is preventable if changes are made to one’s lifestyle and diet. Pre-diabetes alerts an individual to the oncoming of diabetes type 2 before the level of one’s blood sugar rises above the threshold of type 2. In order to prevent type 2 from occurring, one must recognize the changes they need to make in their diets and in daily activity and make a conscious effort to improve their condition before onset occurs.
Both type 1 and type 2 sufferers experience some of the same symptoms: frequent urination, constant thirst or dry mouth, chronic fatigue, blurred vision, excessive hunger, or sudden unexplained weight loss. Diabetes is a very serious disease and should be managed carefully and diligently. Other than gestational diabetes, which only occurs in pregnant women and resolves on its own most of the time, type 1 and type 2 diabetes are incurable. They must be diligently managed to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, and to avoid further complications.
Board-certified internal medicine specialist Dr. Ishan Gunawardene and his wife, Nurse Practitioner Shariffa, have helped many patients living with diabetes enjoy happier, healthier lives. Yes, a diabetes diagnosis may sound scary, but we can help you learn how to manage your diabetes through medication management and lifestyle and dietary changes. For more information on managing your diabetes in Wellington or Royal Palm Beach, request an appointment or call (561) 434-1935 today.
Do you suffer from type 1 or type 2 diabetes? What’s the most difficult thing about living with this disorder you’ve faced so far?