The Differences of Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes

The Differences of Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes

The Differences of Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes

Every year approximately, 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes for a total of about 30 million adults. Alarmingly, close to 7 million people are undiagnosed. Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are chronic medical conditions with no cures; however, there are differences of type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes Overview                                                                         

Diabetes results from the body not being able to turn food into energy. After consuming food, most of it breaks down into glucose (sugar) and is discharged into the bloodstream.

Insulin is a hormonal chemical messenger that regulates the release of glucose into the body. It allows blood glucose to enter the cells which in turn provides the cells with energy. Increases in blood sugar signals the pancreas to release insulin.

The pancreas which resides behind the stomach is the primary source of insulin. Pancreatic cells called islets determine the amount of insulin needed based on blood glucose levels in the body and produce it. Higher levels of glucose in the blood produce higher amounts of insulin to bring blood sugar levels into balance.

When the delicate balance of insulin is disrupted, it can cause health problems that can lead to diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder. The immune system of people with type 1 diabetes has attacked the islets cells causing them to cease production of insulin or significantly limit its production.

As a result, blood sugar remains in the blood stopping the cells from absorbing it and changing sugar into energy for use by the cells.

This type of diabetes requires the person to take insulin for the rest of their lives to survive. There are different kinds of insulin and are prescribed based on how long a person needs insulin to remain in the body. Insulin is grouped by how fast it acts: fast-acting, intermediate-acting, and long-lasting.

Those with type 1 diabetes also need to be monitor glucose levels multiple times throughout the day using glucose meters. Adhering to a strict diet that limits foods that raise glucose levels is also a part of their daily life.

Uncontrolled, this type of diabetes may lead to kidney failure, blindness, heart disease, circulation problems that can result in amputations, and death.

Symptoms

Symptoms can develop quickly and include:

  • Frequent urination

  • Thirstiness

  • Intense hunger

  • Unintentional weight loss

  • Fatigue

  • Blurred vision

  • Mood changes

  • New bed wetting patterns in children who previously had no bed wetting issues


Causes

Type 1 diabetes onset usually appears in children and young adults which is why it was once called juvenile diabetes. Although, the symptoms may not appear for years. The cause of it is not known. However, scientists think genetics, viruses, or environmental issues may be factors.

Type 2 Diabetes

When the body cannot regulate blood sugar levels or use the insulin effectively, it leads to type 2 diabetes. This happens when cells do not respond to insulin signaling that it's time for glucose. As a result, the pancreas produces more insulin trying to "force" glucose into the cells. After a time, the cells that produce insulin become fatigued.

Type 2 diabetes typically does not require insulin. Although, some people may need it. People with type 2 diabetes control it with diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes such as giving up smoking. Sometimes, medications may also be prescribed.

Symptoms

Symptoms usually develop slowly over many years. It is possible to have type 2 diabetes and not know it. Signs include:

  • Frequent urination

  • Thirstiness

  • Intense hunger

  • Unintentional weight loss

  • Fatigue

  • Blurred vision

  • Increased frequency of infections

  • Darkened skin on the neck and armpits

  • Sores and cuts that heal slowly


Causes

The chance of becoming insulin resistance increases with people who are inactive, overweight, or obese. While type 2 was usually seen in adults, in the last few decades, more children, teens, and young adults have been diagnosed with it. The rise of diabetes in younger people is related to poor diets that lead to obesity.

Type 2 diabetes is mostly preventable for 9 out of 10 people who are diagnosed with it. Although genes may influence whether a person can develop type 2 diabetes, lifestyle plays a more significant role. Weight control, regular exercise, a healthy diet, and bad habits (smoking) are ways to avoid it.

Because type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, it is mostly unpreventable at this period while type 2 diabetes is mostly preventable. Both are severe conditions that require people with diabetes to seriously review their lifestyle and make necessary changes to control it.

References

Diabetes. Retrieved from https://www.nih.gov/about-nih/what-we-do/nih-turning-discovery-into-health/diabetes

Prelipcean, Maria, MD. An overview of insulin (November 21, 2018). Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323760.php

Simple Step to Preventing Diabetes. Retrieved from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/disease-prevention/diabetes-prevention/preventing-diabetes-full-story/

Statistics About Diabetes. Retrieved from http://diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/

Type 1 diabetes. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-1-diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20353011

Type 2 diabetes. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20351193

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