What’s the Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?

NWEDNESDAYovember is National Diabetes Awareness Month. Also known as, “diabetes mellitus”, diabetes affects over 30.3 million people, or nearly 10% of the U.S. population. According to the CDC, 7.2 million of that 30.3 million are undiagnosed. Also, there is the misperception that those affected with diabetes have brought it upon themselves simply by living an unhealthy lifestyle involving little exercise and poor dietary choices. That’s why it’s  important to learn about the two main types of diabetes and help to raise awareness. 

Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease marked by the body’s inability to process insulin. Formerly called “juvenile-onset” or “insulin-dependent”, this type accounts for 5 to 10% of the people who have diabetes. Instead of converting sugar to insulin, the immune system destroys the cells that release it, eventually eliminating insulin production from the body. Without this hormone, cells cannot absorb sugar (glucose), which they need to produce energy. People with type 1 diabetes must use insulin therapy to regular blood-sugar levels.

Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes, formerly called “adult-onset” or “non-insulin-dependent”, can develop at any age. It most commonly appears during adulthood, but unfortunately is now occurring with children. People with type 2 diabetes represent 90 to 95% of the people who have diabetes, and are insulin resistant. This means their cells cannot absorb insulin, causing it to remain in the blood, resulting in high blood sugar.

Some people can manage type 2 diabetes with healthy eating and exercise. (Always consult your doctor before starting a new diet or exercise regimen.)  In addition to healthy habits, the doctor may need to prescribe oral medications (pills) and/or insulin to help regulate blood glucose levels.

Reducing the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Lifestyle changes may significantly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A diet that focuses on eliminating simple sugars in processed foods and high sugar natural foods, such as mangoes, cherries, and grapes can help. Additionally, protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates (e.g., peas, beans, whole grains, and vegetables) assist in regulating blood sugar levels and preventing or delaying the onset of diabetes. Eating whole foods as much as possible is recommended. Cardio and strength training daily for at least 30 minutes, most days of the week, may help.

If you’re interested in learning if you have diabetes or at risk for developing it, ask your doctor for a glucose tolerance test. 

If you or someone you know has diabetes, you may benefit from a Watertree Health Prescription Discount Card.  All prescriptions and some devices are eligible for savings. To look up the drug savings with the card, visit Wtree.us/SavingsTool. To get a card, text CARD to 95577, or click here.
By WHBlogger 
Updated: 10/30/18

Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health. 

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