Diabetes is a lifelong disease that affects how the body processes glucose. There are different types of diabetes, but type 1 and type 2 are the two most common types. Although type 1 and type 2 diabetes share certain similarities, they do have many key differences and so they are managed very differently.
Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas to control the amount of glucose flowing through the blood; glucose is a type of sugar that is used as a source of fuel for the body. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or when the body is unable to use the insulin it produces effectively.
Let’s talk about the differences and similarities of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and where you can go for an evaluation and holistic treatment right here in Raleigh.
What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes?
Whereas symptoms of type 1 diabetes tend to occur suddenly – usually during childhood – symptoms of type 2 diabetes tend to appear more slowly and often go unnoticed. As a result, the disease may not be diagnosed for a number of years after onset or when complications have already arisen.
Symptoms of diabetes can include:
- Excessive urination, especially at night
- Excessive thirst
- Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
- Vision changes, such as blurred vision
- Frequent infections (e.g., in the gums or the skin)
- Cuts and wounds that do not heal or take a long time to heal
- Extreme hunger
Facts About Type 1 Diabetes
Normally, insulin helps glucose to enter the cells where it is used for energy, but people with type 1 diabetes produce little to no insulin – meaning glucose stays in the bloodstream. Too much glucose in the bloodstream can cause a number of different medical complications and make diabetics very sick.
The cause of type 1 diabetes is still unknown. People with this condition cannot reduce their risk of developing the disease by making lifestyle changes, unlike with type 2 diabetes.
Those who have type 1 diabetes require ongoing testing and treatment, and insulin must be administered as necessary to control their blood glucose levels. There are different types of insulin therapy available, including rapid-acting insulin, long-acting insulin, and intermediate options which may be taken at different times of the day and delivered by injection or via a pump device.
Facts About Type 2 Diabetes
In type 2 diabetes, the body’s cells become resistant to the action of insulin, plus the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to overcome the resistance. This causes glucose to build up in the bloodstream, which causes the symptoms of diabetes.
It is believed that a combination of genetic and environmental factors play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes. People who are overweight, inactive, have a family history of type 2 diabetes, and/or have had gestational diabetes are at a greater risk of developing the disease.
Managing type 2 diabetes primarily involves lifestyle changes (including diet and exercise), monitoring of blood glucose levels, and medication. Many people with type 2 diabetes do eventually have to take insulin to keep their blood sugar under control.
How Is Diabetes Diagnosed?
A urine test may be carried out initially to test for the presence of ketones in the urine. Ketones are a byproduct of the breakdown of muscle and fat that occurs when there isn’t enough insulin available to give energy to the body’s cells.
In order to develop a firm diagnosis of diabetes, a blood test is used to check blood glucose levels. There are several types of blood tests that can be used, including a random blood sugar test, a fasting blood sugar test, and an oral glucose tolerance test.
Diabetes Management in Raleigh and the Triangle Area
Because there is no cure for diabetes, and because its effects can be debilitating, diabetics need to manage their condition carefully in order to stay as healthy as possible – and to reduce the risk of medical complications such as nerve damage, cardiovascular damage, and kidney damage.
At PAI Wellness Group, we provide comprehensive diabetes management. This includes support with medications, controlling glucose levels, lifestyle, dietary changes, and preventive care methods to reduce your chances of complications in the future.
If you would like a medical evaluation or medical help in managing diabetes, call our office today at (919) 529-3355 or request an appointment now using our convenient online form. We look forward to serving you!