If you’re like most people, you know there are two types of diabetes. What you may not know is the difference between the two – and why it’s important that you know it.
The main similarity between the two types is that both are chronic, metabolic conditions that interfere with the body’s ability to produce the right amount of, and utilize, the hormone that regulates blood sugar (insulin). Their key difference, on the other hand, is that whereas the former is autoimmune in nature and often manifests relatively suddenly, the latter – which is more common – is said to be a lifestyle disease and develops gradually.
Below, you’ll learn more about the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes,
Type 1 Diabetes vs. Type 2 Diabetes
When you have type 1 diabetes, your immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas. This leads to very low blood sugar levels, resulting in the following signs and symptoms:
- Pale skin
- An irregular or fast heartbeat
- Tingling or numbness of your lips, tongue or cheek
In type 2 diabetes, there are two interconnected problems at play: your pancreas doesn’t pump out enough insulin to transport blood sugar into your fat, liver, and muscle cells; and these cells respond poorly to insulin and don’t take in enough sugar. This leads to buildup of sugar in the body (hyperglycemia), which can cause the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Dry mouth
- Weakness and fatigue
- Unexplained weight loss
- Fruity-smelling breath
- Frequent urination
In order to diagnose type 1 diabetes, blood tests must be done. One of these tests is an A1C screening, which measures your blood sugar levels from the past two to three months, and can also be used to diagnose type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.
Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include being 45 years or older, consuming a diet high in carbohydrates and fat but low in fiber, being overweight or obese, having high blood pressure, and indulging in high alcohol consumption. Most of these factors are modifiable, meaning you can take measures to change them and lower your risk of developing the disease.
Treatment Options for Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
There are a number of ways to manage type 1 diabetes, so you can live a normal life. They include monitoring your blood sugar levels, taking regular insulin injections or wearing an insulin pump, maintaining a balanced diet, and staying active.
Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes usually does not require taking insulin since, as mentioned, your body is still producing a small amount of the hormone. Medications, such as metformin, are prescribed to keep blood sugar levels under control. The mainstay of type 2 diabetes treatment, however, is intensive lifestyle modification. This includes maintaining a nutritious, balanced diet; exercising regularly; losing excess weight; and monitoring your blood glucose levels daily so you can adjust your diet and activities.
Diabetes Physician Near Me in Rochester, New York
At Cornerstone Urgent Care Center, we have established a reputation of excellence by providing efficient, high-quality urgent care. However, our commitment doesn’t stop there: we also offer an extensive range of ancillary services—which include complete metabolic panel and other diagnostic services for diabetes—because we believe health care should be comprehensive, convenient, and efficient.
If you’re in search of a diabetes physician within the Rochester area in New York, we will gladly coordinate your care to ensure your condition is effectively managed.
Visit us today—no appointment is necessary. We are open daily from 8 am to 8 pm Monday through Friday and 9 am to 7 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. To learn more about our walk-in clinic services, you may contact our staff at (585) 207-0088 or send us a message.