People are unaware of the differences between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes let alone what diabetes is and how it affects a person who has it. Diabetes is a deficiency in the body’s capacity to break down glucose into energy. Now glucose is the major source of fuel for the body and cells. Cells use the glucose for energy and growth. As food is digested it is converted into fats, carbohydrates or proteins and those which have an effect on blood sugar are the carbohydrates.
Diabetes is normally a chronic condition. For people suffering from diabetes insulin is not produced enough amounts in the body or the body may not recognize it. Without insulin the glucose can’t go into the cells so one cannot use the glucose for energy.
So a person who suffers from diabetes that has eaten foods such as cereals, breads, starchy vegetables, milk, candy etc. can’t break that down into glucose and use it as energy.
Consequently because the glucose is not transformed into energy it remains in the blood. Hence the blood glucose levels are elevated. When blood glucose levels are high (when your blood sugar is high) it can be dangerous. Now let’s look at the differences between the two types of diabetes.
Type 1 and 2 Diabetes Differences
The main difference between diabetes type 1 and 2 is that in:
- Type 1 Diabetes, little to no insulin is produced
- Type 2 Diabetes, the body no longer responds to the insulin being released into the blood
In type 1 diabetes the pancreas stops producing insulin and causes are most likely genetic. When your body is lacking insulin, the cells cannot convert glucose into energy.
Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes: Dangers & Risks
With no insulin the person may experience the following:
- Have eyesight that may be blurry
- Needing to go to the bathroom more often
- Having the loss of feeling in the toes or feet
- Sudden weight loss
- Feeling very hungry or thirsty
- Frequent trips to the restroom (urination)
That is the reason why people who have type 1 diabetes always require insulin daily, which is either through an insulin pump or injected. Majority of the cases of people with type 1 diabetes are young and are usually diagnosed with type 1 diabetes before they reach 40 years old. That is the reason this kind of diabetes is called juvenile diabetes. But it can also appear at any age.
The cause of this type 1 diabetes is not exactly known. It is also due to an individual’s daily lifestyle habits.
Type 2 Diabetes
This form of diabetes is a product from a combination of environmental and genetic factors.
Although there is a possibility of genetic inclination to have Type 2 diabetes the risks are substantially increased when linked with lifestyle factors such as being unfit or overweight, having high blood pressure, having a poor diet or lack of enough exercise among others.
This type of diabetes usually occurs later in life, for older adults. But there have been cases of young adults and young children being affected by type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can be managed by consistent exercise or physical activity along with healthy eating habits.
Prevention Only Possible With Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes can be prevented if it is detected at an early age because bad eating habits can begin at an early age and go unrecognized. It is not until children’s metabolism starts to catch up to them do they realize that they are in trouble and by that time they are so used to having bad eating habits it is difficult to change (but not impossible).
Remember that individuals with type 2 diabetes ARE ALSO required to inject insulin and take prescription pills if prescribed by the doctor. Not injecting insulin puts themselves at great risk both short term and long term.
People who are susceptible of getting type 2 diabetes can prevent it by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet.
- Frequent physical activity
- Quit smoking
- Managing one’s blood pressure
- Keeping cholesterol levels under control
- Having a healthy weight
- Focused on eating healthy
There is no sole cause of this diabetes but there are documented risk factors.
Most of these factors can be changed while some of them cannot. The risks of getting these diseases usually increases as you age.
Remember, prevention of type 2 diabetes is better than taking a prescription drug that supposedly helps but ends up causing negative side effects that may end up damaging your body.
Prior knowledge will help all people steer clear of the dangers that accompany Type 2 Diabetes.
Remember That Being Overweight Has Its Risks
Now being overweight carries a lot of risk for other health conditions such as:
- High Cholesterol
- Heart Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
- Snoring or sleep apnea
- Shortness of breath
Did you see risk of diabetes in that list? It’s true. Being overweight can put you at risk for Type 2 diabetes (also called adult onset diabetes). Now young adults and even children are getting Type 2 diabetes so they can no longer call it adult onset diabetes.
Then you will see a lot of these new prescription weight loss drugs stating that they can reduce the risk of diabetes when taking them. Yes, any form of weight loss will reduce the risk of any of those health conditions stated above but their marketing tactics will have you believe that it is THEIR prescription drug that helps achieve those results (even though there are severely negative side effects associated with them).
We believe that yes, it is important to lose the weight but you must begin by making small adjustments towards a more sensible diet and moderate exercise / activity each week.
Remember, it is your inactivity and eating habits that caused you to start gaining weight. It is time to make small adjustments to building better habits in both your daily diet and exercise (pockets of 30 minutes to 1 hour – 2 to 3 times per week to start).
There’s so much that you can do for yourself by yourself to make yourself healthy again. Don’t wait until your health deteriorates so a doctor can diagnose you with certain health conditions and prescribe you medications that throw of your body’s equilibrium and overall health. Start taking care of yourself the right way today.