In an uncomplicated manner, diabetes mellitus (commonly called diabetes) is a term for a group of metabolic conditions, which involves how your body breaks food into energy. When you consume
food, your body turns it into sugar called glucose and circulates that into your bloodstream. Your pancreas then releases a hormone called insulin that helps move glucose from your blood into your
cells, which use it for energy. But when you have diabetes, your body doesn’t use this insulin like it should, which leaves behind too much glucose in your blood, a condition that’s usually referred to as
high blood sugar. Diabetes has been on a rise at an alarming rate in the United States. According to the Centres for Disease Control’s (CDC) National Diabetes Statistics Report for 2020 cases of diabetes have
risen to an estimated 34.2 million. Although diabetes is a chronic disease, with treatment and lifestyle changes, a person can live a long, healthy life. Diabetes comes in different forms, depending on the
These are the different types of diabetes: Pre-diabetes, Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational diabetes.
According to Centers for Disease Control:
● 88 million American adults—approximately 1 in 3—have pre-diabetes.
● Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 5.2% amongst all diagnosed cases of diabetes that is
approximately 1.6 million people.
● About 90% of people with diabetes have been diagnosed with type 2.
● Doctors report gestational diabetes occurs in 2% to 10% of pregnancies, which usually
recedes after giving birth. But up to 10% of women who may have diagnosed with gestational diabetes get type 2, weeks or even years later. Difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes Type 1 diabetes: This condition usually appears first in children and adolescents, but it can occur in older people, too. The immune system attacks the pancreatic beta cells so that they can no longer produce insulin (the hormones that move glucose from your blood to cells). There is no way to prevent or reverse type 1 diabetes, and it is often hereditary. Type 2 diabetes: Type 2 Diabetes is more likely to appear as people age, but many children are now starting to develop it too. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas produces insulin, but the body is not able to use it effectively. Lifestyle factors play an important role in its development. Over time, elevated glucose levels result in damage to the body & tissues, which can lead to diabetic neuropathy, kidney failure and vision loss, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and damage to blood vessels and organs. Symptoms for type 1 & 2 diabetes Although, type 1 and type 2 diabetes share almost the same symptoms, how and when they occur might make a difference. Type 1 diabetes symptoms can often appear quickly which makes them
harder to ignore. This is important because symptoms if ignored can lead to Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA). But Type 2 diabetes symptoms can be easier to miss. This is because it develops more slowly, especially in the early stages. That makes it harder to spot them. That is why it is important to know your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Some people can have diabetes for up to 10 years without knowing. Let’s have a look at the common symptoms of diabetes:
● Frequent urination, especially at night
● Being thirsty and drinking water frequently
● Feeling more tired and exhausted than usual
● Losing abnormal amount of weight
● Cuts and wounds take longer to heal
● Blurred vision
Risk factors for type 1 & 2 diabetes Type 1 Diabetes Type 1 diabetes isn’t affected by your lifestyle or your weight. That means your risk of developing type 1 can’t be affected by lifestyle changes! Also type 1 diabetes can’t be prevented or reversed with any medication or lifestyle change; it can only be kept in check through medications. Family history: People with a parent or sibling with type 1 diabetes have a higher risk of developing it as it is considered to be hereditary. Age: Type 1 diabetes can appear at any age, but it’s most common among children, in fact most children with diabetes have been diagnosed with Type 1. Geography: A new study from Perth’s Telethon Kids Institute has strengthened the case that the prevalence of type 1 diabetes increases the farther away you are from the equator. Genetics: The presence of some genes has pointed towards an increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes You’re more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if you’re over 40. But in recent times, Type 2 diabetes has started becoming more common in younger people as well. According to Centers for Disease Control, the annual number of children and adolescents age 10 - 19 years diagnosed with type 2 diabetes was 5,758. You are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you: Your family history: You are more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes if you have an immediate family member with type 2 diabetes. Ethnic background: According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) ‘New diabetes cases were higher among non-Hispanic blacks and people of Hispanic origin than non-Hispanic Asians and non- Hispanic whites.’ If you’re overweight or obese: If you are physically inactive, have a lot of belly fat or are overweight as per your Body Mass Index (BMI), you are more likely to be at risk. Managing or treating type 1 & 2 diabetes Type 1 diabetes: As people with type 1 diabetes don’t produce insulin naturally, it must be regularly injected into their body to control their blood sugar levels. Some people take injections into soft tissue, such as the stomach, arm, or buttocks, several times a day as diabetes treatment; others might feel comfortable using insulin pumps that supply a steady amount of insulin into the body through a small tube. They also need to test their blood glucose levels regularly and count their carbs (carbohydrates) intake. Counting carbs help work out how much insulin should be taken when you inject with your meals. People with type 1 diabetes should generally be trying to lead a healthier life, which includes regular physical activity and a healthy balanced diet. These will help reduce any risk of diabetes complications. Type 2 Diabetes: Type 2 diabetes can be controlled and even reversed with diet and exercise alone, but many people need extra support which is why they rely on medication. If lifestyle changes aren’t enough, doctor may prescribe you medications that help your body use insulin in a more effective manner. Monitoring your blood sugar is an essential part of diabetes management as it is the only way to know if you’re meeting your targeted levels. Your doctor may recommend testing your blood sugar occasionally or more frequently, and if your blood sugars are high, your doctor may recommend insulin injections. In the end, let’s bust some myths! Insulin injections are only used to treat Type 1 Diabetes.
Not True! According to Eileen Labadie, Henry Ford Health System diabetes education specialist, “Someone with Type 1 diabetes will always require insulin injections, because their body produces little or no insulin,
but someone with Type 2 diabetes may require insulin injections as part of their treatment plan as well.” Someone with Type 1 Diabetes can consume as many sugar-free treats as they want. Not True!
Sugar free does not always mean carbohydrate free! Sugar-free pies, candy and cakes may have other ingredients that contain a lot of calories and carbohydrates. While sugar is a form of carbohydrate, patients with Type 1 diabetes should always take look at the food label for its total carbohydrate contents before they opt for any snack. Diabetes is a serious disease that can leave people incapacitated with fatal consequences. But the good news is that both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can be managed with effective treatment, healthy lifestyle and a diabetic-friendly meal plan. So talk to your doctor about the best plan that
takes care of your condition and what resources should be included to keep you healthy!
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Keywords: type 2 diabetes, type 1 diabetes, type 1 diabetes symptoms
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