Many people are unaware of the type diabetes they have. They know that diabetes has something to do with high blood sugar levels, that it is incurable, and can have potentially serious complications if left untreated. Often, they cannot discern the differences between the two kinds of diabetes. Everyone should understand that diabetes types 1 and 2 are dissimilar in cause, prognosis, and treatment options, but the same in many other ways.
Diabetes can be explained as a dysfunction in the body’s ability to either produce or utilize the hormone insulin. Insulin is manufactured in a tiny abdominal organ called the pancreas. Insulin travels throughout the body and plays a vital role in the uptake and processing of sugar within the body. If the pancreas does not produce enough of the hormone, or body cells ineffectively utilize it, sugar accumulates in the blood, producing the symptoms of diabetes.
2 Type Diabetes Exist
Two type diabetes exist : insulin dependent and non-insulin dependent. Insulin dependent diabetes, otherwise referred to as type 1 diabetes, normally presents itself in childhood, adolescence, or very early adulthood and is characterized by the body’s complete inability to produce insulin. Without injections of insulin, it is always fatal. Children as young as three to four years old are diagnosed with the disease.
Insulin dependent diabetes is caused by an auto immune response. The immune system attacks the cells within the pancreas that produce insulin, rendering them useless. Sugar quickly accumulates in the blood, causing a condition known as ketoacidosis which is fatal if left untreated.
The symptoms that result from one type diabetes include frequent urination, thirst that cannot be satisfied, hunger, fatigue, confusion, lethargy, and coma. Parents of children with these symptoms often do not associate them with diabetes which translates into many children receiving no treatment until ketoacidosis is well advanced and dangerous. Children with insulin dependent diabetes are typically healthy until the time of diagnosis. Symptoms appear rapidly and without warning.
Fortunately, insulin dependent diabetes is much rarer than the second type of diabetes. Non – insulin dependent diabetes, otherwise known as type two diabetes, generally develops during middle to late adulthood, is lifestyle related, and does not require insulin administration in its early stages. The bodies of individuals with two type diabetes are still able to produce insulin, but the cells throughout their body are unable to process it effectively, resulting in the buildup of glucose in the blood. The body is able to process a portion of blood sugar, but not enough. Symptoms and complications result.
Type Diabetes Non – Insulin Dependent
Early non – insulin dependent diabetes is typically treated with exercise and diet changes. It can be effectively managed and the prognosis is good when patients are compliant with the treatment regime. On the other hand, a person neglecting to manage his blood sugar level as he should has increased odds of serious complications. It is essential to note that the longer a person has the condition and the poorer he controls his glucose levels, the higher the risk of complications. No matter the type diabetes a person has, he can develop serious and life threatening complications.
Adhering strictly to a treatment regime can lessen the risks significantly, but will not eliminate them entirely. Therefore, it is necessary that diabetics focus on both prevention and early detection of complications. Early detection will guarantee that treatment will be received when it can be most effective. Late stage complications often end in the worst outcomes imaginable.
Methods of improving prognosis besides maintaining glucose levels within recommended parameters include frequent check ups with a diabetes specialist, an annual foot examination, exercise, adhering to a strict diet, and knowledge of early the warning signs of complications. No matter your type diabetes you should follow the above recommendations.
The recommended diet for a diabetic will influence how often he eats, what he consumes, his portion sizes, and what time of the day he snacks. The stricter the person is in his diet, the easier it will be for him to maintain his blood sugar levels within the desired parameters and the lower his risk of developing complications in the long term. And preventing complications is the long term goal of any diabetes treatment plan.
Type Diabetes Management The Answer?
The risk of complications can be decreased by as much as 50% by adhering to a strict treatment regime. Management of diabetes is more like a long distance run than a sprint. It requires a great deal of persistence, patience, and support from friends and loved ones. Permanent and everlasting lifestyle changes must be applied in order to live well with diabetes. Diabetes cannot be ignored or health taken for granted. Complications can and do develop very rapidly and are often irreversible.
The bad news for diabetics is that there is no cure, and the potential for devastating complications is high. Diabetics that do not appropriately manage their condition are at increased risk for a large number of problems ranging from heart attack to stroke to blindness. The good news is that an individual living with diabetes largely determines how healthy he will be and how long he will live. The type diabetes he/she has does not matter as much as his will to follow his treatment regime.