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Type 1 and 2 Diabetes: R U Confused?

Updated on August 7, 2012

Diagnosing either type of diabetes is often confusing for the non-medical trained person because there are two different types: 1 and 2.

Type 1 is an autoimmune disorder that attacks the body's ability to make insulin. Type 2 is caused by inactivity and obesity-the body cannot make efficient use of the insulin to control blood sugar.

Type 1

This usually starts in children or teens and those impacted are usually thin or normal weight for their size. Medical tests will show a dangerous buildup of acids in the blood called ketoacidosis. To control it, regular shots of insulin are required. This is caused by genetic and environmental conditions. These people need daily insulin shots, but, if their diet is carefully in tune with their own needs, they can go decades without complications.

Type 2

This occurs mainly in adults over 35 yrs., although, now younger is common. These people are fat and obese. Medical tests show NO buildup of acids in the blood. Their remedy is a healthy diet, exercise, diabetes medication and maybe insulin injections, depending on the situation.

Many doctors misdiagnose patients. The diagnosis stated is Type 2, when in reality, it is Type 1. This was confirmed by a study at Columbia University Medical Center in NYC. The study shows the misdiagnosis starts in the primary care physician because of a lack of training and experience (code word: young doctors). The other problem is most of the diabetes they see are Type 2, so they automatically tend to think that.

To find Type 1, doctors test for antibodies to detect any autoimmune disorder. Most, never do that because they rely solely on the blood sugar tests and family history. All this bad diagnosis leads them to think Type 2. Also, Type 1 is a slow developing problem over a long period of time and because Type 2 is so prominent and obesity is so obvious to the eye.

A non-diabetic person's blood sugar level is below 120. If too low, hypoglycemia occurs, and a person gets weak and dizzy, unless they quickly eat to offset. If your sugar level is too high, a person tends to be "edgy" or nervous.

There 1-2 million people with Type 1. Many have been misdiagnosed and are on a Type 2 regimen that does not seem to help. These people are normal weight but always have a lack of energy. Some patients have gone to as many as four doctors and all misdiagnosed. The key is that if you are not fat or obese and within normal limits of weight for your height, lack energy and yet have been diagnosed with Type 2, demand a antibody test when taking a blood sample.


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    • perrya profile image

      perrya 5 years ago

      Even the doctors are confused.

    • Patty Kenyon profile image

      Patty Kenyon 5 years ago from Ledyard, Connecticut

      Interesting and Useful!!! I often get them confused; thanks for sharing!!!