Diabetes is a term that covers several conditions that relate to a person’s ability to process sugar. The 2 most common conditions are called Type 1 and Type 2. Both of these conditions have similarities, but they also have great differences.
In order to understand the different types of diabetes, it is important to understand how the body processes sugar. In general terms, when a person consumes carbohydrates, they are broken down into glucose, which then enters the bloodstream. At the same time, the pancreas produces insulin and adds it to the bloodstream. The insulin facilitates getting the sugar in to the individual cells so that the cells can then produce the energy they need.
All diabetics need to check their blood glucose level (also called blood sugar level), usually several times a day. This will give an indication of how the treatments are working and whether or not the treatment needs to be adjusted. All diabetics should see an endocrinologist 4 times a year. It is vitally important to take care of high blood glucose levels.
High blood glucose levels can cause extensive damage to several organs, cause wounds to heal slowly, and infections are harder to treat. Possible results include blindness, kidney failure, and amputation. Symptoms can include increased urination, thirst or dry mouth, hunger, unexplained weight loss, and blurred vision.
In type 1 diabetes, formerly known as juvenile diabetes, the person’s pancreas produces little to no insulin. Without insulin, the glucose cannot enter the cells and stays in the bloodstream. This results in a higher concentration of glucose in the bloodstream. It also affects the individual cells in that they cannot produce energy.
With type 1 diabetes, it is necessary to take insulin injections. The insulin is injected into fatty places on the body. The insulin then enters the bloodstream and assists the glucose getting into the cells. There are several types of insulin that are used in combination in order to give the best coverage for what the person eats. Without insulin, a type 1 diabetic will die.
In type 2 diabetes, formerly called adult onset diabetes, the person’s pancreas produces enough insulin, but the body is not able to use it properly. This is called insulin resistance. This creates the same high concentration of glucose in the bloodstream that type 1 diabetics have.
Type 2 diabetics have more options when it comes to treatment. Since the body is producing insulin, it may not be necessary to inject more. Some type 2 diabetics can be treated with only diet and exercise. There are several oral medications that can help reduce the insulin resistance. There are some type 2 diabetics that need to take insulin injections, even though they produce insulin.
There are more types of diabetes, but these are the two major ones. They have many similarities, especially in regards to the effect of diabetes. At the same time, they are very different in the cause of high glucose levels and in the treatments available. It is important to treat each type properly in order to have a good quality of life.