Telling the Difference Between Type I and Type II Diabetes

According to Medical News Today, “The fuel that your body needs is called glucose (sugar). Glucose comes from foods such as breads, cereals, pasta, rice, potatoes, fruits and some vegetables and is also made in your liver and muscles. Your blood carries glucose to all of your body’s cells to use for energy. To use glucose, your body needs insulin. Insulin is the hormone made by a gland in your body called the pancreas. Insulin regulates blood glucose by stimulating the removal of glucose from the blood and its uptake into muscle, liver and fat cells where it can be stored for energy.

Sometimes your body does not make enough insulin or the insulin does not work the way it should. Glucose then stays in your blood and does not reach your cells. Your blood glucose levels get too high (hyperglycemia) and can cause diabetes or pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes is when blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. There are two major causes of the metabolic disease: your body makes too little or no insulin. This is called type 1 diabetes, insulin-dependent diabetes (IDDM); your body cannot use the insulin it makes. This is called type 2 diabetes, non-insulin dependent diabetes (NIDDM).

Symptoms of Type I Diabetes

Frequent urination: you will frequently need to visit the bathroom because your kidneys cannot return all the glucose to your bloodstream when your glucose levels are greater than 180 mg/dl. Because of the large amount of glucose in your body, your urine is often too concentrated and in order to reduce high concentration levels, your body draws out water from your blood. This cycle fills the bladder repeatedly.

Increased thirst: because of urinating frequently and the fact that your body is drawing out water to reduce concentration, you feel thirst almost all the time.

Weight loss: when the glucose levels in your body start decreasing, you start losing weight because your body starts looking for energy in your muscles and body fat.

Increased hunger: because your muscles and body fat start to breakdown as the body’s way of looking for more energy, you have hunger bursts almost every two hours.

Weakness: because your body does not get the right amount of energy to perform all the tasks, you feel weaker and weaker.

Symptoms of Type II Diabetes

Fatigue: same as type I diabetes, type II diabetes can make you tired because your body cells aren’t getting the glucose fuel they need to function well.

Frequent urination and thirst: as with type I diabetes, because you’re urinating so frequently, your body tends to dehydrate quick which calls for more thirst for water.

Blurry vision: when your blood sugar rises and falls, the lenses of your eyes swell and shrink. Blurred vision occurs because your eyes cannot adjust quickly to light and dark situations.

Slow healing of skin, gum and urinary infection: in high-glucose environment, white blood cells fail to function properly and they cannot protect you from infections or fasten the healing process in case of cuts and burns. Bugs love sweet, so a diabetic person is prone to infections.

Genital itching: yeast infection is common with diabetic patients. The more the blood sugar levels, the more you will suffer from itching.

Numb feet or legs: when there is extreme elevations of the glucose, you may experience numbness is the feet or legs.

Heart disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease: these complications are most often prevalent in type II diabetes than in type I diabetes.

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