What is the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease that develops when the pancreas stops producing insulin, which moves sugar out of your bloodstream, or when your body cannot properly utilize insulin. When you do not have insulin, your blood sugar levels get too high, leading to serious health complications.
Although Type 1 diabetes can be diagnosed at any age, it most often occurs between the ages of 4-14. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, in which the cells that produce insulin in the pancreas are mistakenly destroyed by the body’s immune system. This type of diabetes can sometimes be diagnosed earlier on in life, but can also be identified during adulthood.
Type 2 diabetes represents 90-95% of all cases of diabetes and very commonly runs in families. You are more likely to get diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes after the age of 45, but it can develop at any age, including in older children and young adolescents.
If you have Type 2 diabetes, your pancreas produces insulin, but not enough to maintain normal blood sugar levels because your body cannot utilize it properly. Patients with this type of diabetes must regulate their blood sugar levels with diet and exercise.
What health complications develop due to diabetes?
Having high blood sugar damages your small blood vessels and nerves. As a result, you are at a much higher risk of developing heart disease, kidney disease, and wounds that do not heal.
Nerve damage often occurs in your feet and eyes, and diabetes is the top cause of kidney failure, adult-onset blindness, and lower limb amputations.
What are the symptoms of diabetes?
You may not experience any symptoms at an early stage with diabetes. But as the disease progresses, you may develop:
- Frequent urination
- Feeling very hungry
- Unintended weight loss
- Blurry vision
- Slow-healing sores
Both types of diabetes cause the same symptoms, but they tend to develop sooner in Type 1 diabetes. By comparison, symptoms may take years to appear if you have Type 2 diabetes.
How is diabetes managed?
Diabetes cannot be cured, so the goal is to keep your blood sugar within normal limits with dietary intervention and medications when needed.
Dr. Marzili teaches you how to monitor the amount of carbohydrates in your diet. You’ll also learn which carbs are healthy and which ones you should avoid to prevent spikes in blood sugar.
Dr. Marzili prescribes insulin for patients with Type 1 diabetes who must use insulin to replace the insulin their bodies need. In many cases of Type 1 diabetes, Dr. Marzili works in conjunction with an endocrinologist, a doctor who specializes in diabetes.
For patients with Type 2 diabetes, Dr. Marzili first addresses the correctable underlying causes such as weight loss, diet and exercise. In many cases the patients do require medication and in some cases insulin. Dr. Marzili also aggressively treats other complicating risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
If you’ve noticed you are very thirsty, tired, or urinating frequently, call Dr. Thomas J. Marzili, MD, in Marlton, New Jersey, or request an appointment online today to get tested for diabetes.