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Understanding the Differences in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Understanding the Differences in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic medical condition that affects your body’s ability to turn food into energy, leading to high glucose (sugar) levels in your bloodstream. While only 10% of people with the disease have type 1 diabetes, 90% have type 2. 

With diligent care, diabetes is treatable, and you can lead a full life while managing either form.

Our expert team of medical providers at Arundel Medical Group, Inc., located in Glen Burnie, Maryland, treats a range of chronic conditions, including diabetes.

Read on to learn more about the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

The causes of diabetes

A significant difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes is the cause. 

With type 1 diabetes, your immune system attacks cells in your pancreas, causing it to produce too little insulin. That happens because of genetics and isn’t linked with lifestyle habits. However, you can carry those genes without developing the disease. In some cases, an event such as a virus plays a role.

With type 2 diabetes, your body becomes resistant to insulin. While it can be due to genetic factors, your risk increases if you carry excess weight or lead an unhealthy lifestyle. Drinking large amounts of sugary drinks and chronic stress may also contribute, regardless of weight.

Type 1 and 2 diabetes symptoms

Because both type 1 and type 2 diabetes involve insulin problems and blood sugar imbalances, they may cause similar symptoms. 

Symptoms linked with both types of the disease include:

Type 2 diabetes can also cause frequent infections, poor wound healing, gum problems, itchy skin, and erectile dysfunction. 

Left untreated, both type 1 and 2 diabetes can lead to severe complications, such as ketoacidosis, and lead to coma or death. Early signs of ketoacidosis include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, breathing problems, and a low pulse.

Managing diabetes

Blood sugar monitoring, medication, and lifestyle changes are the mainstays of many diabetes treatment plans, regardless of the type. 

If you have type 1 diabetes, your treatment may involve an insulin pump or a pancreas or islet cell transplant. 

Healthy lifestyle changes are essential for managing type 2 diabetes — or even reversing pre-diabetes, the stage leading up to the disease. You may benefit from increased exercise, a nutritious and balanced diet, improved sleep habits, and stress management.

Our team will work with you to create a customized diabetes treatment plan and support you through any challenges along the way.

To learn more about the types of diabetes or get the diagnosis or care you need, call our office or request an appointment via this website today. 

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