Diabetes is a chronic condition that is one of the primary causes of blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke across the world. There are two major types: type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The main distinctions between the two are their causes and methods of management. Understanding the type you have is vital to know how you should take care of yourself.
Common Symptoms of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes have similar symptoms. The main difference lies in when these symptoms manifest. Signs of type 1 diabetes appear quickly in contrast with type 2 diabetes. In many cases, people with type 2 diabetes have the condition but are unaware of it for years. Symptoms of both types of diabetes include:
- Extreme thirst and frequent urination
- Sudden weight loss
- Slow-healing sores
- Blurry eyesight
- Tingly sensation in the feet
One distinct symptom that presents in individuals with type 2 diabetes is the appearance of darkened skin patches on the body, a sign of insulin resistance.
Causes and Risk Factors of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
The exact cause for both types of diabetes is unknown. However, genetics is a known contributing factor for both types. Besides this, the risk factors for developing these two conditions can differ.
Type 1 Diabetes
This type of diabetes is also known as juvenile diabetes. It occurs when your immune system attacks healthy insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. It affects your body’s insulin production, resulting in less to no insulin production. The risk factors of this condition are as follows:
- Geographic location. Your risk for developing this type of diabetes increases the farther you live from the equator.
- This condition is known as juvenile diabetes because it has two peaks. The first is between the ages of 4 and 7, and the second is between the ages of 10 and 14.
- Environmental f Some findings show that a lack of breastfeeding and early introduction to milk formula may increase the risk of developing type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes was previously called adult-onset diabetes. It develops when the body resists the effects of insulin or doesn’t produce enough of it to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Risk factors for this condition include the following:
- Weight and fat distribution. Obesity is the leading risk factor for this condition. Likewise, you also have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you have a waist size of more than 40 inches in men and over 35 in women.
- Findings show Black, Hispanic, American Indian, and Asian-American people are at most risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Adults over the age of 45 are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes because of decreased physical activities and weight gain.
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome. Women with this condition are also at a higher risk.
Managing Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
Both types of diabetes are incurable but manageable. The primary treatment options for the two conditions differ.
Type 1 Diabetes
Because your body is not producing insulin at all, this condition calls for lifelong insulin therapy. Other treatments include the following:
- Lifestyle changes. Regular exercise helps lower blood sugar. Monitoring carbohydrate intake enables you to understand how much insulin you may need. You also need to have a healthy diet with low-fat and high-fiber foods.
- Artificial pancreas. Also known as closed-loop insulin delivery, this relatively new treatment is an all-in-one diabetes management system. It automatically gives you the necessary insulin amount you need based on the attached continuous glucose monitor.
- Other medications. Some drugs like aspirin, cholesterol-lowering medicines, and high blood pressure medicine can help protect your heart and kidneys.
Type 2 Diabetes
The primary treatment option is losing weight to keep glucose levels normal. Weight loss also improves the function of insulin-producing pancreatic cells. Other treatments are as follows:
- Lifestyle changes. Introducing more fibers into your diet and decreasing calorie and sugar intake are some changes people with this condition should adopt. Regular physical activity is necessary to maintain a healthy weight and normal blood sugar levels.
- This includes drugs like metformin and sulfonylureas that help manage glucose levels and insulin production.
- Insulin therapy. Recent studies show that early insulin therapy can help manage this condition for some.
- Bariatric surgery. This weight loss surgery helps people with a BMI of over 35 lose weight. Bariatric surgery is often the last-resort treatment due to its risks.
With proper weight management and diet, some patients can reverse type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes Management in Florida
Diabetes is a lifelong health condition that needs to be appropriately managed to avoid further chronic conditions and complications. Knowing the difference between the two types will help you understand what causes your illness and what lifestyle changes you can make to live a long and healthy life.
Intercoastal Medical Group has provided the highest quality care to patients for more than 20 years. Our board-certified endocrinologists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes. We have two endocrinology offices in Sarasota and Manatee County ready to assist with your needs; one in Sarasota and one in Lakewood Ranch. You may use our secure online form to schedule an appointment in any of our offices. We look forward to serving you soon.Diabetes