Diabetes is the condition that occurs when a person’s blood glucose (blood sugar), which is the body’s main source of energy, is too high. Glucose is made in the liver and muscles, and also comes from the foods a person eats. The blood transports glucose to all the body’s cells for use as energy.
The pancreas, which is situated between that stomach and the spine, makes a hormone called insulin that it releases to assist the blood with carrying the glucose to all the cells. In diabetes, the pancreas either does to make enough insulin or the insulin that it does make is not as functional as it needs to be. When this happens, glucose stays in a person’s blood rather than being dropped off in his or her cells. This leads to prediabetes or prediabetes, and can cause serious health problems.
How Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes differ
Type 1 diabetes most frequently develops in young people, hence its former name of juvenile diabetes, but can also develop in adults. In type 1 diabetes, the immune system in a person’s body has attacked and caused destruction of the cells that make insulin, causing too little insulin got be made or none at all.
Type 1 diabetes symptoms may come on suddenly and may include:
• Rapid, deep breathing
• Dry mouth and skin
• Reddened, flushed face
• A breath odor that has a fruit smell
• Vomiting, nausea, and trouble keeping fluids down
• Pain in the stomach
• Feeling very thirsty or very hungry or both
• Feeling exhausted continually despite getting enough rest
• A blurring of the eyesight
• Feet that tingle or go numb
• Unexplained weight loss
• Frequent urination both day and night
Treatment for Type 1 diabetes includes:
• Depending on the severity, either insulin shots or oral insulin
• Changing the diet to a healthy one
• Adding exercise to a person’s daily regimen
• Using diet and sometimes medications to ensure that blood pressure is under control
• Reducing cholesterol intake.
Type 2 diabetes, formerly referred to as adult onset diabetes, affects people of all ages including children, but is most often found in people who are middle-aged and older, and people who are inactive and overweight. Rather than a sudden onset as with Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes most generally begins with a condition called insulin resistance. This results when liver cells, fat, and muscle do not do their part in helping to carry glucose to the body’s cells to use for energy.
Over time, blood sugar levels begin to increase, especially after meals, and as a result the body needs more insulin to ensure that the glucose gets to the body’s cells. The pancreas, sensing this, does its best to keep up with the need for extra insulin. When the pancreas can no longer keep up with the added demand for insulin, Type 2 diabetes needs to be treated.
Symptoms may include:
• Unquenchable thirst
• Frequent urination
• Blurring of vision
• Unreconciled irritability
• Numbness and/or tinging in hands and feet
• Unexplained tiredness
• Trouble with wounds healing
• Recurrent yeast infections.
Treatment is the same for Type 2 diabetes as for Type 1 diabetes.
The main difference between the two forms is age of onset and the suddenness of onset in Type 1 diabetes versus the lengthier onset of Type 2 diabetes.
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