Diabetes: Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease in which the body does not develop enough pancreatic hormone insulin. It is necessary to deliver glucose to the cells of the body, which enters the bloodstream from food and provides tissues with energy. When there is a lack of insulin or body tissues cannot use it, the level of glucose in the blood rises - this condition is called hyperglycemia. It’s dangerous for almost all body systems.

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What is the difference between type1 and type 2 diabetes?

There are two types of diabetes mellitus, which have significant differences despite a certain similarity. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the beta cells of the pancreas can not release the necessary amount of insulin. Sometimes beta cells are “defective” from birth, sometimes the process of destruction of beta-cells in the body is triggered by infectious disease, severe stress, exposure to drugs, etc. Insufficiency of beta cells occurs with some genetic syndromes. If this process is accompanied by the development of antibodies against the body’s own tissues (antibodies to insulin or the beta-cells themselves), it is called autoimmune. Type 1 diabetes 1 results in gradual destruction of beta cells and the depletion of insulin, which must be compensated for by the constant introduction of it into the body exogenously (from outside), otherwise the patient could die soon.

With type 2 diabetes, beta cells function normally, but the body is not able to use it effectively. This is due to impaired perception of the insulin signal by certain organs and tissues: their receptors to insulin cease to work normally, as a result of which carbohydrate metabolism slows down and peripheral organs suffer. Sometimes, with such a mechanism, beta cells even begin to produce an increased amount of insulin, and eventually “wear out” faster – then such a patient also begins to need constant introduction of insulin into the body exogenously. That is why not so long ago the terms “insulin-dependent” and “insulin-independent” diabetes mellitus were replaced by the terms “type 1 diabetes” and “type 2 diabetes”, respectively.

Is type 1 diabetes genetically determined?

It has been scientifically proven that there is a genetic predisposition to type 1 diabetes. If there were cases of type 1 diabetes in the family, this does 100% guarantee that the patient will necessarily have diabetes. However, such patients are at higher risk and should regularly apply self-monitoring rules.

Is it possible to prevent type 1 diabetes?

Unfortunately, today there are no methods to prevent type 1 diabetes. The only recommendation is to be attentive to own organism if there were cases of a disease in the family, then it’s highly recommended to maintain a healthy lifestyle and a appropriate diet to reduce the risk of the disease development.

Is it possible to prevent type 2 diabetes?

Yes, it can be prevented. There are a few effective ways to prevent it:

  • Weight control (very often impaired sensitivity of peripheral tissues to insulin is triggered by excess weight).
  • Physical activity – at least 30 minutes of regular daily physical activity (at this time the body intensively uses glucose and thereby reduces blood sugar).
  • Adherence to a special diet to maintain the optimal level of glucose in the blood.
  • Prevention of bad habits (excessive drinking and smoking).
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Hypoglycemia

One of the most dangerous conditions for diabetes can be hypoglycemia – a decrease in blood glucose below 2.8 mmol/l. It can occur if the patient has inaccurately calculated the dose of glucose-lowering drugs that he needs.

At its first symptoms (acute hunger, sweating, trembling in the hands or feet, weakness, dizziness), the patient should immediately take 20-30 grams of pure glucose or other rapidly digested carbohydrates.

Therefore, every diabetic, leaving the house even for a short while, should have 3-4 pieces of sugar or a small packet of juice.

References:

Type 1 Diabetes – Diabetes.org

Type 2 diabetes – Nhs.uk

Diabetes Mellitus (Diabetes) – Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Hypoglycemia in diabetes – Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Obesity and insulin resistance -Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

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