Important Differences Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

When you have type I diabetes, your body is no longer making insulin. Therefore, you need to take insulin injections or wear an insulin pump because you need insulin to survive. Type I diabetes usually presents in childhood or adolescence, but it can occur.

The body can produce insulin when you have type II diabetes, but it can no longer respond to the insulin. The medical community calls this “insulin resistance.” When someone is resistant to insulin, the body’s natural response is to produce more insulin, but when someone has type II diabetes, this doesn’t happen.

The body becomes resistant to insulin and doesn’t produce more insulin when this occurs, glucose cannot move from the bloodstream into the body’s cells. People are more likely to have type II diabetes if they are overweight, over the age of 40 and have family members with the condition. However, more people are beginning to be diagnosed with type II diabetes, including people in their teenage years.

Glucose levels increase when someone has diabetes, so the body reacts in the following manner to type I and type II diabetes:

When someone has type I diabetes, the body’s immune system starts to attack and destroy the beta cells. When there aren’t enough beta cells circulating throughout the body, it cannot receive enough insulin. Without enough insulin to help the glucose move into the cells, the glucose remains in the bloodstream.

In most cases, people start managing diabetes by injecting insulin as soon as they receive the diagnosis. However, type I diabetes can’t be controlled with just diet, known as “insulin-dependent” diabetes.

In type II diabetes, the body can produce some insulin, but the locks on the cells are damaged, and the keys that insulin carries aren’t fitting into these locks anymore. Unfortunately, the door remains closed, so glucose cannot enter, which has the dangerous effect of increasing glucose levels. Because the cells are resistant to the insulin surrounding them, this type of diabetes is “insulin-resistant.”

Genetics contribute to whether or not someone develops type II diabetes, but it is mainly attributable to obesity. The more a person weighs, the harder the body has to work to help it effectively use insulin. That’s why increasing rates of obesity led to the increasing rates of type II diabetes.

Also, type II diabetes can be controlled with diet and exercise if people are in the early stages of the disease. All they would need to do is lose between 7% and 10% of their body weight and then the insulin would be able to work effectively again. Along with helping people lose weight, exercise also increases insulin sensitivity.

Tandem Diabetes Care makes managing diabetes as easy as it can be. The company creates products that make a living with diabetes comfortable for people, whether they have been living with diabetes for several years or were just diagnosed yesterday.

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