Mellitus Diabetes

Understanding Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetes

Author: J. Allen Francis, MD

There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes typically takes occurs in younger individuals. In this case, cells in the pancreas cannot produce insulin at all to control glucose (or sugar) in the blood. Type 1 diabetes requires the use of prescribed insulin for control.

Type 2 diabetes usually develops later in life and accounts for 95% of diabetics. Type 2 diabetes prohibits your body from producing enough insulin, or your body may not recognize insulin and use it properly or both problems can occur together. Obesity is one the major risk factors for type 2 diabetes. As we are seeing obesity increase in younger and younger patients we are seeing type 2 diabetes in nearly all ages.

Type 2 diabetes can be easy to overlook, especially in its early stages when physical signs have not yet developed. Complication of diabetes advance slowly. When symptoms do present themselves many people are unaware they have a disease that can become debilitating and even life-threatening over time.

Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease
People with type 2 diabetes are more than twice as likely to be affected by heart disease and stroke as those without it. Diabetes affects many major organs, including kidneys, blood vessels, nerves, eyes and your heart. What’s more, diabetes causes rapid plaque build-up in the arteries which can lead to heart and vascular problems, including coronary artery disease (angina), heart attack, narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and high blood pressure, which affects 73% of diabetics.

Taking Control of Diabetes
A startling number of individuals go through life with undiagnosed diabetes or prediabetes, so it’s important to focus on risk factors associated with the disease. Age, obesity, family history, lack of exercise, and race and ethnicity all play an important role in determining your risk level. Lifestyle changes can help tackle this national epidemic.  Eating right, exercising regularly, losing weight, controlling high blood pressure and high cholesterol through medication,  as prescribed are effective ways to reduce your risk of diabetes.

Are you at risk for diabetes?
You could have diabetes and not know it. Visit your primary care physician today for an assessment and to learn more about what you can do to minimize risk. Generally your Primary Care provider can help you control you diabetes. In some cases, your Primary Care provider may refer you to an Endocrinologist who specializes in the diagnosis and management of diabetes.

Diabetes – What You Need to Know

Every 17 seconds someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with diabetes.

In 2012, 29.1 million Americans, or 9.3% of the population, had diabetes. Of those, 8.1 million were undiagnosed.