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Type I and Type II Diabetes Symptoms, Treatment, Complications

Updated on September 1, 2010

Most people are familiar with the word diabetes and know that it is a serious disorder; however, not many people are familiar with the cause, symptoms, treatment (there is no cure), or the complications that result from diabetes.

Photo courtesy of Melissa; Flickr
Photo courtesy of Melissa; Flickr

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is classified as an endocrine disorder. The endocrine system consists of many different glands that release various hormones into the body in order for the body to function correctly.

One of the glands making up the endocrine system is the pancreas. The pancreas is responsible for producing insulin which helps to maintain proper body metabolism of sugars and starches in the body. Insulin breaks down carbohydrates and starches into glucose (sugar) and moves glucose out of the blood and to the tissues and cells of the body, producing energy.

In a nutshell, someone with diabetes is unable to convert food into energy.

There are several types of diabetes, but I am going to focus on type I and type II. Both types of diabetes is diagnosed by various blood tests that measure the amount of glucose in the blood.

Type I Diabetes:

Type I diabetes (insulin dependent) is the result of insulin deficiency in the body and requires insulin administration either orally or via injection. Type I diabetes usually occurs before the age of 20 and used to be called juvenile diabetes. Because type I diabetes does not occur with only adolescents, it is no longer called juvenile diabetes.

Symptoms of Type I Diabetes:

People suffering from type I diabetes are usually thin. Symptoms include:

--excessive thirst and increased urination

--unusual weight loss

--extreme fatigue and irritability

--extreme hunger

Even though someone with type I diabetes may eat plenty of food, they will feel as if they have no energy. This is because of the body’s inability to produce insulin; thereby, sugar is not moved to the tissues and cells of the body. This causes extreme fatigue and low energy. Constantly feeling hungry, type I diabetics (especially undiagnosed) will often gorge on food in an attempt to alleviate the feeling of no energy.

Type II Diabetes:

Type II diabetes is more common than type I. Usually occurring after the age of 35, type II is caused by the body’s cells ignoring insulin. It can be controlled by diet and exercise without the need for insulin therapy.

Symptoms of Type II Diabetes:

People suffering from type II diabetes are usually heavy, and the disorder is hereditary. People with type II diabetes will sometimes have no symptoms. Symptoms include:

--any of the type I symptoms

--frequent infections, including gum disease, skin and bladder infections

--slow healing cuts and bruises

--blurred vision

--numbness and/or tingling in the hands and feet

Complications of Diabetes:

Because of the many serious, life-threatening complications that result from diabetes, it is important to monitor and control blood sugar levels. Some complications include:

--eye conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, retinopathy

--heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension

--skin and foot problems

--kidney disease


Herbal Supplements and Cures? NO!

There is no cure for diabetes. I stress that, because there is too much false information on the internet claiming there is a cure. Also, due to a recent commercial claiming there is a cure—there isn’t. For diabetics that require insulin therapy, it is extremely important not to discontinue use of medication that is required to help manage the disorder.

It is also important to mention that herbal supplements and the like are not approved by the FDA. This means the ingredients contained in every sort of natural remedy has not been tested at all. Also, this could lead to adverse reactions or side effects in relation to any medications you are taking by prescription or over the counter and, additionally, adverse reactions simply because you have a chronic condition or disorder.

As always, speak with your physician regarding any questions and/or concerns that you may have about diabetes.


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    • Deni Edwards profile image

      Deni Edwards 6 years ago from california

      Hi, Andy,

      Thank you for reading and making that important comment!

    • AndyBeveridge profile image

      AndyBeveridge 6 years ago from Ceret

      Hi, no cure that is a fact. I hate those single sales page websites that spring up trying to sell some long lost cure that has been discovered deep in the rain forest.

      If there was one the medical world would surely have heard of it.