THE TWO TYPES OF DIABETES

There are two major types of diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes is the type that requires supplemental insulin and is usually diagnosed in childhood. For this reason, it is often called juvenile diabetes. The pancreas of a Type 1 Diabetes patient doesn’t make enough insulin for the cells to absorb the available glucose in the bloodstream. In the more common Type 2 Diabetes, the pancreas is usually producing enough insulin. Your body just is unable to utilize the insulin properly. Type 2 Diabetes accounts for over 90% of the known cases of diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type I Diabetes is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune means your body’s immune system: its method of fighting off infections. When your immune system doesn’t work properly, it misreads threat signals and attacks a portion of your own body. In this case, your immune system misreads the true state of affairs and sees the perfectly normal beta cells that produce insulin in your pancreas as a danger. It starts to attack and destroy them. As a result, your pancreas will make only tiny amounts of insulin and eventually it will make none. You need insulin to live; so, with Type 1 Diabetes you would have to take daily insulin shots for the rest of your life.

Why your body turns against itself when there really is not anything wrong is a mystery. Studies show that genetics, the environment, and perhaps viruses may all be underlying causes for your autoimmune system to malfunction. Type 1 Diabetes can appear in any age group, but it is most commonly seen in children, adolescents and young adults. Between 5-10% of the diabetes cases in America are Type 1 Diabetes.

Your body may begin destroying the beta cells in your pancreas for years before you develop any symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes. When you do develop symptoms, they will appear over a relative short period of time. You might notice weight loss despite constant hunger, blurred vision, or extreme fatigue. One set of symptoms that would be a red flag to your doctor would be sudden excessive thirst coupled with frequent urination. Without supplementing the missing insulin in your body, you can suffer diabetic shock and even lapse into a diabetic coma.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes is by far the most common form of diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes accounts for over 90% of the diagnosed diabetes cases in the United States. Unlike Type 1 Diabetes whose origins are a mystery, Type 2 Diabetes has many known preconditions that increase your risk for developing the disease. Some of these include a family history of diabetes, a previous history of gestational diabetes, and certain ethnicities. Others that appear to be related are aging, physical inactivity, and obesity. In fact, statistics reveal that 80% of the individuals with Type 2 diabetes in America are overweight. Cases of Type 2 diabetes are rising among children and teenagers perhaps because more and more of them are also becoming overweight and obese.

What happens inside your body when you develop Type 2 diabetes is different than Type 1. Your pancreas is making normal amounts of insulin. However, your body is not processing the glucose in your blood with the insulin available. This is known as insulin resistance. Over the course of time as the disease progresses, your pancreas makes less and less insulin. Both types of diabetes have the same end result. Your blood sugar, glucose, which is the fuel that keeps your body going is not metabolized by your cells. The levels of glucose in your blood keep rising.

The symptoms of Type 2 diabetes are nearly the same as for Type 1. You might notice weight loss despite constant hunger, blurred vision, or extreme fatigue. One set of symptoms that would be a red flag to your doctor would be sudden excessive thirst coupled with frequent urination. Another frequent complaint is that sores or wounds heal either very slowly or perhaps not at all. However, some individuals never develop any of these symptoms.

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