Understanding the Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Just because Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes have similar names doesn’t mean they are the same disease. There are distinct differences in what causes these diseases and how they are treated and managed.

The differences between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes determine how the team at Rose Urgent Care and Family Practice approaches treatment and management of these chronic diseases. Taking the time to learn about the differences helps you better understand the customized care plan we create for patients who are diagnosed with these chronic diseases.

The similarities between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes

Whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, your body is unable to access the insulin needed to properly control blood sugar levels. Without proper access to insulin, blood sugar levels can spike, which can result in a number of health problems.

While both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes share the inability to properly control blood sugar levels, the reason the body cannot control these levels differs.  

Discovering what causes Type 1 diabetes

People with Type 1 diabetes have a pancreas that is unable to produce any insulin. The pancreas is unable to produce insulin because the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks it.

Why the body of people with Type 1 diabetes attacks the pancreas is unknown. Some health care researchers believe it could be a genetic trait that is passed down through families, while others believe it could be a result of exposure to harsh environmental factors, such as a virus.

Discovering what causes Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetics are still able to naturally create and produce insulin. However, for one reason or another, they are unable to properly use or process the insulin. If the insulin cannot be properly used or processed, it results in high blood sugar levels because glucose will accumulate in the bloodstream.  

Even though environmental factors and genetics can cause Type 2 diabetes, lifestyle choices are the most common cause of this chronic disease. Excessive weight, lack of exercise, poor diet, and smoking are just some of the many lifestyle factors can cause Type 2 diabetes.

How many people are diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes?

It is difficult to determine the exact number of people with diabetes because many cases are undiagnosed. However, the 2017 National Diabetes Statistics Report published by the Center for Disease Control estimates that approximately 30.3 million people in the United States have some form of diabetes.

When gathering data for the survey, the National Diabetes Statistic Report didn’t differentiate between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Even though there wasn’t a distinction, researchers involved with the survey estimate that Type 2 diabetes accounts for anywhere from 90-95 percent of all diabetes cases.

Learning about the symptoms of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes

The symptoms of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are similar. Common symptoms associated with both of these chronic diseases include:

Speak with your doctor immediately about getting tested for diabetes if you exhibit any of these symptoms. The earlier that diabetes is diagnosed, both Type 1 and Type 2, the easier it is to treat and manage.  

What tests are used to diagnosis Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes?

Rose Urgent Care and Family Practice uses a blood test known as glycated hemoglobin (A1C) to diagnosis Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The A1C test takes a small sample of blood and analyzes it to determine the average blood sugar level for the past three months. It is fast, easy, and extremely effective at diagnosing diabetes.

What treatment options are available for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes?

Since Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are caused by different things, how they are treated will vary. The only treatment option available to people with Type 1 diabetes is to inject the body with insulin. Pumps and needles are the two most common ways insulin is injected into the body.

Our team of family doctors have more options available to them when it comes to treating Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can often be controlled and managed by making healthy lifestyle choices, such as eating a well-balanced meal, exercising more, and quitting smoking, or with prescription medication that can help the body effectively use any insulin that is created.

Failing to manage and treat your diabetes can have serious, potentially fatal consequences. Some of the problems that can happen with uncontrolled or untreated Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes include:

Work with a healthcare provider to create a customized treatment plan

Our team at Rose Urgent Care and Family Practice is dedicated to not only properly diagnosing your diabetes but creating a customized treatment plan for you. Call our office to schedule an appointment to speak with one of our family doctors about diabetes.

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