Type 1 Diabetes or Diabetes Mellitius is one of the metabolic diseases characterized by high levels of sugar in the blood. It is often referred to as juvenile diabetes because it usually affects those under the age of 30, and is an autoimmune disease that results from destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. The lack of these cells creates an excess of glucose in the blood urine. Typical symptoms of Type 1 include the need for frequent urination, an insatiable thirst and resulting weight loss. Type 1 is often inherited, can be caused by viral infections, and has more dramatic symptoms. If left untreated, it can be fatal. Insulin injections are the most common method of treating Type 1 Diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes, formerly referred to as adult-onset diabetes or insulin-resistant Diabetes, is far more prevalent. The American Diabetes Association estimates that 90% of all Diabetes cases are Type 2. Type 2 is characterized by the body's inability to respond to the effects of insulin. The production of insulin by the pancreas can either decrease over time, resulting in a shortage of insulin, or the body can not recognize the insulin produced. Both lead to a lack of glucose in the body's cells. The actual causes of Type 2 Diabetes are still unknown, but factors such as obesity, inactivity, age ( typically affects those over 40), familial history and ethncity are major contributors. It is normally treated by a drastic change in diet and lifestyle. More alarmingly, 40% of Diabetes cases in children and teens are now diagnosed as Type 2 as a result in the rise of childhood obesity and lack of physical activity among young people. Although there is no cure, it can be successfully controlled through diet and exercise, and insulin therapy if necessary.
Insulin is a hormore produced by the human pancreas. It's main job is make sure cells absorb glucose. Too much glucose in the blood can be toxic. Without insulin, the cells are unable to absorb the glucose, resulting in high blood sugar. Type 1 Diabetes means the pancreas is not able to produce insulin, so it be must injected externally. Type 2 Diabetes means the pancreas is producing insulin, but the body has become resistant to it. Diet and lifestyle changes will help, but 40% of Type 2 cases must also inject insulin externally.
Diabetes is an illness that can have serious consequences. While Diabetes can be effectively managed, it remains the leading cause of diabetes-related complications such as cardiac arrhythmia, retina damage leading to blindness, and circulation problems necessitating foot amputations. This disease can be fatal.
To reduce your risk, maintain a healthy body weight, stay active, refrain from smoking, drink only in moderation, eat balanced meals and maintain a healthy blood pressure. If you or a family member are at risk, it is easier to prevent the disease today than to have to manage it tomorrow!