Diabetes is a disease that contains high levels of the sugar in the bloodstream resulting with either insufficient or ineffective insulin. Diabetes has no age exemptions due to not only affecting adults but also children. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), 9.4% of the United States population has diabetes (CDC Newsroom. (2017, July 18). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2017/p0718-diabetes-report.html). Known as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, there are many forms of diabetes but the main two I will discuss throughout the paper are type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes, or insulin-dependent, is a disease, in which the pancreas produces depleted amounts to no insulin at all. Insulin is a hormone in our bodies needed to allow sugar to enter cells to fuel and produce energy. Type 1 Diabetes is caused by damage to the pancreas which contains beta cells, i.e. cells that make insulin. The lack of insulin is due to a shortage in the number of beta cells the pancreas contains. Moreover, the immune system attacks and kills the beta cells. Consequently, without the beta cells, the body cannot produce insulin. As a result, glucose builds up in the blood and causes diabetes. Symptoms for this disease include the risk of increased thirst, excessive urination, hunger, fatigue, blurred vision, and weight loss (Department of Health & Human Services. (2014, August 31). Diabetes type 1. Retrieved from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ConditionsAndTreatments/diabetes-type-1). The complications include a variety of damages to the body, for example, it can affect major organs, including heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes, and kidneys. The process of taking insulin, counting your carbohydrate, fat and protein intake, frequently monitoring your blood sugar, eating healthy foods, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight are all considered great treatment for this disease. A few tips to help prevent Type 1 diabetes are to watch portion sizes, drink water as your primary beverage, minimize your intake on processed foods, cut sugar and refined carbs from your diet, and work out regularly.
Type 2 diabetes, or non-insulin dependent, is a condition where 90% of diabetics fall in this category. Known as the most common form of diabetes this form of diabetes is classified as a chronic condition that affects the way your body metabolizes sugar. By the same token, your body resists the effects of insulin or it does not produce the sufficient quantity of insulin to maintain a normal level of glucose. Scientists have figured that genetics and environmental factors such as excess weight and inactivity play a huge role and seem to be, more or less the contributing factors. Symptoms for this disease include the risk of increased thirst, excessive urination, hunger, fatigue, blurred vision, weight loss, slow healing sores, and areas of darkened skin (Diabetes symptoms: When diabetes symptoms are a concern. (2016, April 21). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/in-depth/diabetes-symptoms/art-20044248). The complications associated with this disease is that it can affect major organs, including heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes, kidneys, foot damage, hearing impairment, skin conditions, and can also increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The process of taking medication, doing insulin therapy, frequently monitoring your blood sugar, and exercising regularly are all considered great treatment for this disease. A few tips to help prevent Type 2 diabetes are to check your risk of diabetes, watch portion sizes, drink water as your primary beverage, minimize your intake on processed foods, control blood pressure, see a doctor for regular checkups, quit smoking.
Although it may seem they are similar, however, they are different in several ways. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease where the body has attacked and destroyed the beta cells in the pancreas that provide insulin. Outside sources of insulin are required for people with type 1 diabetes to sustain and level out the disease. Whereas Type 2 is a metabolic syndrome or disorder where the body still produces insulin, just not enough and is often coupled with insulin resistance and impaired carbohydrate metabolism. The difference is that people with type 2 are still capable to produce insulin. Over time their bodies sensitivity levels decrease to it. Type 2 diabetes symptoms tend to be more gradual than type 1 but they both share symptoms along with other complications of diabetes like high and low blood sugar, increased agitation, shaky and sweaty, blood sugar reactions. As well as the more extreme side effects that can lead to seizures, coma, and even death.
In conclusion, Diabetes, as a whole is a condition that affects your body preventing it from using the energy sources found in the food we eat. With this disease, your body doesn’t make enough insulin, it’s not able to use the insulin it produces or has symptoms of both. As a result, your body’s cells reject the glucose, causing it to build up in the bloodstream. That’s why Diabetes if left untreated create high levels of blood sugar, that damage and cause complications. Throughout the paper, I discussed Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes having many similarities and differences between the two. Diabetes is a chronic disease without a cure, however, with the proper care/ treatment from a medical provider and self-management gives diabetics an alternative option to slow down the disease, eliminate bad habits, and start good habits to live healthier lives.