Both types of diabetes are chronic diseases caused by problems with insulin, which in turn causes high blood sugar. The kind of insulin problem defines the two categories:
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes develops from an autoimmune disorder that damages the pancreas, destroying its ability to produce insulin. You can’t prevent type 1 diabetes, and once it develops, you must take insulin.
Type 2 diabetes
People with type 2 diabetes have a pancreas that functions, but it doesn’t secrete enough insulin. They also have insulin resistance, which means their bodies can’t use the insulin that’s produced. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90-95% of all cases of diabetes.
Nine out of 10 cases of type 2 diabetes can be prevented by taking steps to eliminate the top factors that increase your risk:
- Being overweight or obese
- High blood pressure
- High levels of triglycerides
- Lack of exercise
- Smoking cigarettes
Symptoms often occur suddenly in type 1 diabetes. By comparison, they take years to develop in type 2 diabetes. However, both types share the same symptoms:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Blurry vision
- Increased hunger
- Unexplained weight loss
High blood sugar damages nerves and blood vessels, leading to complications such as:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Wounds that don’t heal
- Eye diseases like retinopathy
- Tingling, numbness, and pain in feet
Diabetes management includes lifestyle changes and medication to keep your blood sugar at normal levels.
The team at Boerne Family Medicine develop an individualized plan and talk with you about a diet to control carbohydrate consumption, lifestyle counseling if needed to lose weight, and tips for increasing exercise.
Your plan may also include medication to lower blood sugar. Your medication is also customized because a variety of medications are available, and they work using different mechanisms.
Your doctor at Boerne Family Medicine works with you to create a plan you can stick with because the only way to prevent serious complications is to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
If you have any questions about diabetes, or you’d like help with diabetes management, call the office or book a consultation with Boerne Family Medicine online.