Diabetes; Type I and Type II

Type I Diabetes

Type I diabetes used to be called juvenile diabetes, because it was thought that only children got it. But, this is not true. Virtually anyone can develop Type I diabetes and it has nothing to do with diet or exercise, although both can help control the symptoms.


There are two main risk factors for developing Type I diabetes, which means your body is no longer producing any insulin and never will produce insulin on its own.

* Genetics and family history – If you have a mom, dad, sister, or brother with Type I diabetes, then you should get regularly screened for diabetes. Make sure that your health care professional knows about your family history so that they do routine blood sugar checks. The sooner you catch this disease, the better your prognosis is in terms of warding off other problems caused by Type I diabetes.

It’s also important to remember that just because a relative has the disease doesn’t mean you will develop it. But, it’s always good to know your risk level so that you can take better care of yourself and be on the lookout for signs of the illness.

* Pancreatic disease, infection or illness – The pancreas is responsible for releasing insulin which controls blood sugar levels. There are many different types of illnesses and diseases that can damage the pancreas, causing Type I diabetes. If you have any of these illnesses, it’s important to get regular screenings.

In these cases there isn’t much you can do other than take care of yourself, eat right, and get regular screenings. But, you can be aware of the things that can cause pancreatic illnesses such as poor diet, cancer, and cystic fibrosis.

There is also a third risk factor and that is the presence of Type II diabetes. If you have uncontrolled Type II diabetes you could wear out your pancreas and it may stop producing insulin altogether. This is why that diet and exercise are such important factors in treating and preventing all kinds of diabetes.


There are some tell-tale signs and symptoms associated with Type I diabetes. They include (in no particular order) unexplained weight loss, extreme thirst, frequent urination, hunger, fatigue, blurry vision, and wounds that won’t heal. If you experience any of these symptoms, don’t delay your trip to the doctor to get checked out. Waiting can lead to coma and even death for those with Type I diabetes.


In order to be diagnosed you’ll receive a simple fasting blood glucose test. If your tests come up suspicious, they’ll perform more tests to determine if it’s really Type I or not. Type I is defined by the lack of production of insulin at all.

Finally, treatment for diabetes depends on the individual patient. You’ll likely be sent to a doctor called an endocrinologist who specializes in the treatment of diabetes, as well as a nutritionist, and potentially a physical therapist. You might also want to see your eye doctor more often to help avoid problems with your eyes that can develop in people with Type I diabetes.

Your treatment program will likely also include daily injections of insulin. You may be prescribed an insulin pump. Each case is different so follow your medical team’s recommendations.

Type II Diabetes

Type II diabetes is defined by the inability of the body to process glucose even though the body is still producing insulin on its own.


There are no known causes for diabetes but there are several risk factors for Type II diabetes that should not be ignored. If you are obese, sedentary, Hispanic, African American, Native American, Asian, Pacific Islander or an Alaska native you’re at a higher risk of developing diabetes.

In addition, genetics play a major factor. If you have a family history of diabetes, such as a mom, dad, brother or sister, you are more likely to develop it. People who have been diagnosed as glucose intolerant or insulin resistant also have a higher chance of developing Type II diabetes.


There are a variety of symptoms to look out for regarding diabetes. The main problem is that these symptoms, while mostly the same as for Type I diabetes, are usually mild and often go unnoticed until real damage is done. If you have any risk factors at all, whether you notice issues or not, it’s important to be tested regularly. Symptoms to look out for include:

* Unexplained weight loss
* Extreme thirst
* Frequent urination
* Excessive hunger
* Fatigue
* Blurry vision
* Wounds that won’t heal
* Nerve pain or tingly feet

If you experience any of these symptoms, don’t delay your trip to the doctor to get checked out.


If you’re over the age of 45, you’re more likely to develop Type II diabetes if you have any of the other risk factors, but even if you don’t, be sure to start getting tested for diabetes every year at your regular doctor’s office. It’s a simple test and one you’ll be glad you got.

All you need to do is do a fasting blood glucose test. No eating for eight hours before the blood test, and you’re good to go. If your blood sugar shows a problem, you may need to do other tests but nothing too invasive to determine if you have Type II diabetes.


Each patient is different so it’s hard to say what your treatment regimen will be. But, it will include lifestyle changes as well as potential medication. The best thing you can do is listen to your doctor.

Unlike Type I diabetes, with Type II you have the opportunity to do a complete change of lifestyle, changing your diet drastically as well as your exercise regimen to potentially reverse the disease. Seek the help of your health care provider to go the lifestyle route over the mediation route and you won’t be sorry.

Type II diabetes is treatable and with the help of the right diet along with a healthy amount of exercise, you can reverse your disease – possibly becoming healthier than before.

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