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Jul 20, 2017 OHIOHEALTH
The Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

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You’ve probably heard about type 1 and type 2 diabetes, but do you know the difference between them?

What Is Diabetes?

Our bodies convert the food we eat into sugar, called glucose. In response, the pancreas produces a hormone, called insulin, that delivers the glucose to our cells to give us energy. When you have diabetes, this process gets disrupted.

Type 1 Diabetes

What Is It?

Type 1 diabetes is when your body is no longer able to produce insulin.

When Does It Develop?

It’s usually diagnosed during childhood, but it can develop at any age.

What Causes It?

An autoimmune response. Your immune system malfunctions and attacks the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas. Once the cells are destroyed, your body cannot produce insulin.

What Are the Risk Factors?

There seems to be a genetic component to the disease. A family history of type 1 diabetes increases your risk of developing it.

What Are the Symptoms?

Type 1 diabetes symptoms can come on suddenly and may include:

  • Bedwetting
  • Blurry vision
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased appetite and/or thirst
  • Mood changes, irritability
  • Tiredness and weakness
  • Unexplained weight loss

How Can I Prevent It?

There is no way to prevent type 1 diabetes.

How Is It Treated?

People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin injections every day to survive.

Type 2 Diabetes

What Is It?

Type 2 diabetes is when your body still produces insulin, but it doesn’t make enough of it or it doesn’t use it efficiently. It’s the most common form of diabetes.

When Does It Develop?

Type 2 diabetes can develop at any age but is most common in adults over 45.

What Causes it?

Doctors are not sure what exactly causes type 2 diabetes. However, age, weight and inactivity play a major role.

What Are the Risk Factors?

You may have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you:

  • Are 45 or older
  • Are overweight and/or inactive (especially if you carry extra fat in your waist)
  • Are African American, Hispanic, American Indian or Asian-American
  • Have a family history of diabetes
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have high “bad” cholesterol (triglycerides) and low “good” cholesterol (HDL)
  • Have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Have depression
  • Had gestational diabetes or delivered a baby that weighed 9 pounds or more

What Are the Symptoms?

Type 2 diabetes symptoms may not show up right away and may include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Dark patches on armpits and neck (sign of insulin resistance)
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased appetite and/or thirst
  • Slow-healing sores or frequent infections
  • Tiredness and weakness
  • Unexplained weight loss

How Can I Prevent it?

A healthy lifestyle can go a long way in preventing type 2 diabetes. Maintain a healthy weight through good nutrition and exercise.

How Is It Treated?

Most people can control type 2 diabetes with a combination of healthy eating, exercise and medication. Some need insulin injections.

Do you have more questions? Schedule an appointment with a doctor today.

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