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Differences Between Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetes

Updated on March 27, 2015
The differences between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes
The differences between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes | Source

Diabetes is a disease that affects between 3% and 5% of people that can cause very significant problem's in a person's life. Over the long term, it can damage the feet, nerves, eyes and kidneys and in very serious cases, lead to death.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is the common name given to a group of diseases known 'Diabetes mellitus'; these are chronic, ongoing conditions where the pancreas is not able to control the level of glucose (dissoved sugar) in the blood, due to issues with producing insulin.

What are common symptoms of diabetes?

Diabetes has a number of symptoms, some of the more common being:

  • Excessive hunger - polyphagia
  • Excessive thirst - polydipsia
  • Unusual production of urine - polyuria

What are the main types of diabetes?

There are two main types of diabetes that affect people:

  • Type 1 - This is caused by an inability of the pancreas to produce insulin; this is commonly referred to as 'juvenile' or 'early onset' diabetes
  • Type 2 - This normally occurs because cells in the body become resistant to insulin and are not able to use it properly; this is sometimes known as 'adult onset diabetes' and represents the vast majority of diabetes that is diagnosed (around 90%)

What are the treatments for diabetes?

Diabetes can normally be treated through taking the hormone insulin. This may be taken in tablet form or injected. Providing that diabetes is not left untreated and that people suffering from it make some healthy lifestyle choices (such as reducing weight and stopping smoking), diabetes can be adequately managed over the medium to long term.

What happens if diabetes is left untreated?

Untreated, diabetes can cause severe problems, including:

  • Kidney failure
  • Optical degeneration and blindness
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Damage to the extremities, especially the feet

What are the risk factors for diabetes?

There are several risk factors for type 2 diabetes, mainly related to lifestyle choices, these include:

  • Diets that are high in fat, sugar, processed and refined foods
  • Leading a sedentary or dormant lifestyle
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Not taking enough exercise
  • Not eating a good amount of healthy fruits, whole grains and vegetables

In closing

Although diabetes is a treatable condition, it can cause significant issues in people's lives. For this reason, it makes sense to reduce your risk factors for Type 2 diabetes as much as possible; this means eating a healthy diet, maintaining a reasonable weight, exercising regularly and staying active.

All of these things together will improve your overall quality of life and reduce the risk of suffering from the illness.

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