Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes



No longer is diabetes categorized as juvenile onset or adult onset.  With the obesity epidemic on the rise, diabetes is now divided into type 1 and type 2. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that interrupts how our bodies use and break down the sugar and carbohydrates that we consume. The food we consume is broken down into glucose, which is used for growth and energy. Glucose then enters our cells by insulin, which is produced in the pancreas.

Type 1 was formerly known as juvenile onset diabetes, because it is typically diagnosed among individuals under the age of 30 and consists of 5 to 10 percent of all diabetes diagnoses (Mayo Clinic). These individuals produce little to no insulin. Type 2 diabetes has been reported among children and adolescents, as well as adults. Eighty percent of those people with type 2 are overweight, and their bodies are either resistant to the effects of insulin or do not produce enough insulin to maintain a normal blood sugar

The signs and symptoms of type 1 and type 2 are very similar: increased urination, feeling very thirsty and hungry, extreme fatigue, blurred vision and cuts/bruises that are slow to heal. In those with type 1, weight loss occurs even though the individual is eating more. Parents of very young children who cannot yet ask for drinks have reported their children’s drinking bath water or finding other sources, such as the dog bowl. Tingling, pain or numbness in the hands and feet may also occur for those with type 2 (www.Diabetes.org). The main difference is that the symptoms of type 1 often come on quickly and are fairly noticeable. In type 2, the onset is gradual and often can be overlooked or disguised as some other ailment.                                                                                                                                             

Once diagnosed with diabetes 1 or 2, a patient must monitor blood sugar levels and diet. Type 1 diabetics will require insulin injections daily with or without the use of an insulin pump. The treatment for type 2 diabetics is dependent on the resistance of insulin and can change over time. Some type 2 diabetics are able to control their blood sugar with diet and exercise alone. Others must combine diet and exercise with oral medication once or twice a day, and some require insulin injections. It is important for all diabetics to check their blood sugar daily and adjust insulin and diet accordingly.                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Diabetes is a serious illness that requires daily monitoring and, if left untreated, can lead to many other complications. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.

 

Jessica Heine is a labor and delivery nurse. She lives with her husband and two kids in Olathe.

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