India’s rapid economic growth and modernization has led to drastic lifestyle changes in all of us. It has prompted us to lead a sedentary lifestyle and indulge in more western junk foods such as burgers and pizzas. These changes have increased obesity and its related health problems such as diabetes. Several young children and teenagers are a victim of diabetes these days as are the middle-aged people. But, there is a difference!
Here we list out some of the basic differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes and what can you do to manage them.
Most children and adolescents suffer from type 1 diabetes while most adults suffer from type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is also known as juvenile-onset diabetes because it often begins in childhood. It is an auto-immune disorder that attacks the insulin-producing cells (beta cells) present in the pancreas affecting the production of insulin hormone. This increases the blood glucose (blood sugar) level in the body causing diabetes. Type 1 diabetes generally occurs due to genetic predisposition.
Type 2 diabetes accounts for 95% of diabetes in adults. It is known as adult-onset diabetes, but due to increasing obesity and overweight issues, many teenagers are also suffering from this. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas produces insulin but the amount produced is not sufficient for the body due to insulin resistance or lack of insulin sensitivity. When the body produces insulin under conditions of insulin resistance, the cells fail to respond normally to the insulin hormone. Insulin resistance can be caused due to genetic and lifestyle factors.
If a family member of yours suffers from type 1 diabetes then you’re at higher risk of developing it. This is because genetic factors are primarily the reason behind type 1 diabetes. It could also be the result of faulty beta cells in the pancreas that normally produce insulin.
The cause of type 2 diabetes is genetic or lifestyle factors or sometimes both. The most common contributing factors for type 2 diabetes are:
Type 1 diabetes is a serious health condition and you can manage it in the following ways:
You can manage type 2 diabetes initially through lifestyle modification including a healthy diet, regular exercise and monitoring your blood glucose levels. It is because:
However, sometimes healthy eating and exercise are not enough to keep the blood glucose levels down. As time progresses, in type 2 diabetes, the insulin becomes more resistant and the pancreas is less effective at converting glucose into energy. To help the pancreas convert glucose into energy, people with type 2 diabetes are often prescribed tablets.
Thus, with proper diet, exercise and periodic blood glucose monitoring, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can be controlled. The aim of diabetes management is to keep blood glucose levels as close to the optimum range as possible. However, the ranges will vary depending on the individual and their needs.
Disclaimer: Consult a health expert to help you with blood glucose monitoring, healthy eating and physical activity. Occasionally, side-effects can occur with medication. Insulin injections and other medications are compulsory in some cases and diet cannot be a substitute.