Type 1 and type diabetes are different but both share a similarity – both are characterized by patients experiencing higher than normal blood glucose levels. But many people are either confused about which type of diabetes they have, as well as under the impression that there are hard and fast rules about the disease.
There are none but there are generalizations that doctors and patients can work on in search of the best treatment plan.
Exceptions to the Rule Are Common
Many mistaken assumptions about these types of diabetes abound, which can adversely affect effective management. For example, there’s the assumption that people with type 1 diabetes will be underweight while those with type 2 diabetes will either be overweight or obese; the latter may also not inject insulin.
But this isn’t necessarily true in all cases because exceptions to the rule are common in the world of diabetes. Studies have shown that about 20% of type 2 diabetes patients have a healthy weight (Anytime Fitness Prices or Monthly Fees)during their first diagnosis while many of them have become dependent on insulin injections. Type 1 diabetics may also be overweight or obese.
Indeed, only specialized laboratory tests can provide an accurate diagnosis regarding the type of diabetes a person has. The variety and unpredictability of the symptoms make these tests necessary, especially when there’s another underlying disease aside from diabetes.
Generalizations Also Apply
But there are also common generalizations that characterize each type of diabetes. Your doctor can discuss these common characteristics in more detail, particularly when you’re talking about medications like Metformin.
Type 1 Diabetes
This is an autoimmune disease wherein the body’s immune system attacks specific parts of the body in a case of mistaken identity. In this case, the target is the pancreas, specifically the beta cells that produce insulin.
Unfortunately, scientists have yet to discover why and how it occurs, much less how to stop the attacks. Such is the severity of the attack that the immune system will continue attacking the pancreas’ beta cells until these cannot produce insulin anymore. For this reason, people with Type 1 diabetes have to inject themselves with insulin.
Type 2 Diabetes
This type is characterized by the body’s inability to respond to insulin, known as insulin resistance. The body compensates for it by increasing insulin production but the pancreas can’t always deliver on sufficient amounts. Over time, the beta cells become so strained from the demand that they are destroyed and, thus, insulin production decreases.
People with type 2 diabetes may or may not need insulin injections. If they do, it may be due to either low sensitivity to insulin or failure of the beta cells.
And as with all types of diabetes medications, neither take nor stop medications without your doctor’s advice.