Diabetes affects millions of Americans today, but it can take different forms. You may often hear of someone saying that they have “Type 1 diabetes” or “Type 2 diabetes”. But what is the difference between the two types? Isn’t it all just diabetes?

The answer is yes and no. While both are forms of diabetes, each type has its own distinct characteristics. This means that treatment differs between the two.

Between five and ten percent of all diabetes sufferers have Type 1 diabetes. You may also hear people refer to this type as “juvenile-onset diabetes” or “insulin-dependent diabetes”. In this case, the body’s immune system attacks the cells that release insulin into your body. The immune system destroys these cells, and because of this, insulin production in the body is eliminated. Insulin aids the glucose (sugar) absorption into the blood, so if your body has no insulin, it cannot absorb sugar. Without this process, your body cannot produce energy. Generally speaking, people develop symptoms of Type 1 diabetes during their childhood or young adulthood. They suddenly become seriously ill as a result of sudden symptoms of high blood sugar. Type 1 sufferers are also prone to periods of low blood sugar, called “hypoglycemia”. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented – you are either born with it or you are not.

Type 2 diabetes is the more common ailment of the two – roughly ninety to ninety-five percent of all diabetes sufferers are afflicted with Type 2 diabetes.. This form of diabetes is also called “adult-onset diabetes” or “non-insulin-dependent diabetes”. In this case, the body resists the insulin it produces. It cannot properly respond to the insulin in the body. As you can expect, this also has serious adverse effects on your health. This resistance can be the result of increasing age, obesity, a genetic predisposition, or other factors. People can develop Type 2 diabetes at any age – it generally begins showing itself in adulthood, but there is an increasing number of children who are developing symptoms of Type 2 diabetes today. While certain diabetes medicines and treatments can result in a low blood sugar level, there are no episodes of hypoglycemia that occur naturally in a Type 2 diabetes sufferer. The good news is that Type 2 diabetes is preventable through a healthy lifestyle – eating sensibly and exercising regularly.

Both types of diabetes can greatly increase your risk of developing serious, life-threatening complications. Continuous monitoring and management of the disease can prevent most serious complications, but kidney failure and blindness can still develop for a diabetes sufferer. It also can cause heart disease, stroke, and amputations of the leg and foot.

The best thing you can do to prevent these complications is regular check-ups and examinations with your doctor. As long as you catch your diabetes early, you can diagnose and manage the complications, resulting in your ability to live a full, healthy life.

For more information on Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes, please visit The American Diabetes Association website at diabetes.org.

Peter Geisheker is the CEO of the Independent Pharmacy Marketing Group. For more information on Diabetes and controlling high blood sugar visit www.santalsolutions.com

More Diabetes Articles

Email This Post Email This Post