Diabetes: Type 1 vs. Type 2
Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. It is caused by very low insulin levels in one’s body, resistance to insulin, no insulin production or a combination of factors. Insulin is a hormone which is normally produced by the pancreas that works in the body to control blood sugar levels in one’s body by moving sugars out of the blood stream. High blood sugars can produce the symptoms of frequent urination, increased thirst and increased hunger. There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes, which was previously referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes, results from the body's failure to produce insulin or it produces a very small amount of insulin. Type 2 diabetes, was previously referred to as non insulin-dependent diabetes or adult onset diabetes, results from insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to use insulin properly. This means the body doesn't move sugars out of the blood stream very well due to strains on the body caused by physical inactivity or obesity. Some of the most common symptoms in type 1 are feeling tired, feeling hungry, urinate more often, losing weight without trying and being very thirsty. Some of the most common symptoms in type 2 are erectile dysfunction, blurred vision, frequent or low healing of infections and general fatigue. In type 1 diabetes the affected person is required to inject insulin under the skin or wear an insulin pump, which has the effect of lowering blood sugar levels to normal. But for the type 2 diabetes, the affected person their diabetes may be controlled with medications and the best way to manage the symptoms is to engage in regular physical exercise and maintain a healthy diet avoiding specific foods which negatively affect insulin levels and the pancreas. The pancreas is a gland organ in the digestive system and endocrine system. It is both an endocrine gland producing several important hormones, including insulin, glucagon (hormone produced which raises blood sugars, somatostatin (growth hormone that regulates the endocrine system and affects passing and cell growth) , and pancreatic polypeptid , and a digestive organ, secreting pancreatic juice containing digestive enzymes that assist the absorption of nutrients and the digestion in the small intestine.
Diabetes is a chronic disease which cannot be cured except in very specific situations. Management concentrates on keeping blood sugar levels as close to normal without causing hypoglycemia (low blood sugars). This can usually be accomplished with diet, exercise, and use of appropriate medications which is insulin in the case of type 1 diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, oral medications and sometimes insulin could possibly be included. The exact dietary formulas may differ because each person’s body reacts a bit differently to any number of foods. In general, a diet high in raw vegetables, fruits with low sugar content, low carbohydrates, low starch and low fat is recommended. What is eaten is just as important as when it is eaten. However, in some cases your personal health care provider may prescribe you some special medications that you will have to take and also insulin if required, but that is only when you have higher level of blood sugar levels in your body.
Type 1 diabetes is similar to type 2 diabetes in that they are genetic diseases. Both types 1 and 2 diabetes have similar complications, such as kidney disease, kidney failure, urinary tract infections, eye diseases such as blindness, glaucoma and cataracts can occur. Although each disease has specific causes, they are similar in that both of them depend on the amount of insulin that controls the blood sugar. Patient education, understanding, and participation is vital, since the complications of diabetes are far less common and less severe in people who have well-managed blood sugar levels. The goal of treatment is a Hemoglobin (blood test that shows the average level of blood sugar (glucose) over the previous 3 months) level of 6.5%, but should not be lower than that, and may be set higher. Attention is also paid to other health problems that may accelerate the harmful effects of diabetes. These include smoking, elevated cholesterol levels, obesity, high blood pressure, and lack of regular exercise.