Diabetes is a complicated illness that can put your body in a very vulnerable state. If a person has diabetes, it means that their body isn’t producing enough insulin or can’t use it as well as it should. If you have problems with insulin, then there might be too much blood sugar that stays in your bloodstream. Worst cases of diabetes can lead to many risk problems with heart disease, kidney disease, and vision loss.
Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are the most common types of diabetes that have affected many people, ranging from young children to older people. Also, it’s important to note that although they have almost similar names, they vary significantly in diagnosis. To know the difference, here are important notes that you should remember.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune reaction that develops early in life. They usually appear in children and adolescents. What happens with type 1 diabetes is that the body’s immune system, which is supposed to protect you and fight off harmful bacteria and viruses, starts attacking your body’s healthy cells. The immune system mistakes your pancreas as an invader, which results in the inability to produce insulin.
Unfortunately, researchers still haven’t discovered why the immune system sometimes attacks the body, but efforts to figure this out are still ongoing.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of understanding of why the immune system attacks the body’s healthy cells, the risk factors for type 1 diabetes are still unknown. Nonetheless, here are the known risk factor in diabetes that doctors consider:
- Age. As mentioned, it usually affects children, teenagers, and young adults at risk of developing type 1 diabetes, but it can affect anyone of any age.
- Family History. People with a sibling or a parent with type 1 diabetes have a higher risk of developing it themselves.
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes share the same symptoms but typically appear more quickly for people with type 1 diabetes. The symptoms are:
- Frequency in urination
- Increased thirst
- Feeling very tired and fatigued
- Blurry vision
- Cuts and sores that take a long time to heal
- Sudden weight loss
- Numbness in hands and feet areas
Unfortunately, there’s still no cure for type 1 diabetes. So instead, people take insulin to control their blood sugar levels and take regular tests for their blood glucose levels.
Type 2 Diabetes
Compared to type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes is the most commonly diagnosed diabetes. This disease usually appears as people age, but children can also develop it.
With type 2 diabetes, although the pancreas can normally produce insulin, the body can’t effectively use it. As a result, people with this are usually diagnosed as insulin resistant. Although there are still no clear reasons why some people become resistant to insulin, researchers claim that it might be related to lifestyle factors, such as being inactive and having excess weight.
What are the risk factors?
Aside from the things mentioned above, there are still other factors that you need to be aware of:
- Age. Older people (>45 years old) are more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes than younger children.
- Family History. If someone from your family is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you also have a higher risk of developing it.
- Obesity. People who are overweight are significantly at risk for developing diabetes.
- Lifestyle. People who are active less than three times a week rarely exercise.
- Ethnicity. South Asian, Hispanic, Native Alaskans, and Native Americans are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
As mentioned, type 1 and type 2 diabetes share the same symptoms, but they can go unnoticeable and appear rather slowly to people with type 2 diabetes, so it’s easy to miss them.
Unlike type 1 diabetes, one can prevent type 2 diabetes by changing their lifestyle. Daily exercise and a healthy balanced diet should do the work, but other people might need more help. So, doctors help by prescribing medications to help the body.
Though some people with high levels of blood sugar intake oral medication like metformin and use a Savings App to lower the cost, others also consider berberine, a much more traditional and natural medication. So, people are constantly in a debate about metformin vs berberine. Still, it’s essential to visit your doctor to find out what would be the best medication for you. Also, regular testing of blood sugar is highly recommended.
Getting diabetes puts you at risk of many other diseases that are much worse. So, you must always take care of your body and try to do things that rids you of the risks of getting it. Though it’ll need more research and time for type 1 diabetes, it’s fortunate that there are insulin and other medications that can help manage its symptoms. Reading this article should help you with everything you need to know.