Diabetes mellitus is a common, chronic condition that many people throughout the world suffer from. There are four types of diabetes: gestational, type 1, type 1.5, and type 2.
Gestational diabetes is a condition in which a woman develops diabetes only during pregnancy.
But what about type 1 and type 2? Is one more dangerous than the other?
Today, we’ll discuss some of the similarities and differences of these two types of diabetes.
What Are the Different Types of Diabetes? Are They All Dangerous?
Before we get into the different types of diabetes, let’s first look at the definition of diabetes.
According to Google, diabetes is “a disease in which the body’s ability to produce or respond to insulin is impaired.”
The result is inadequate carbohydrate – or sugar – metabolism.
How do these different types of diabetes differ?
- Gestational – High levels of hormones block the body’s ability to utilize insulin fully.
- Type 1 – The body doesn’t produce insulin.
- Type 1.5 (LADA) – Either the body doesn’t produce insulin like it should, or the immune cells attack it as if it were a dangerous foreign body.
- Type 2 – The body doesn’t respond to insulin. It’s produced but the muscle, fat, and liver cells don’t recognize it and keep it from absorbing glucose. This is called insulin resistance.
All four types diabetes are considered dangerous and can result in life-altering and even life-threatening symptoms.
Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms: What to Watch for with Type 2
Since diabetes is such a life-altering and potentially dangerous condition, it’s important to recognize if and when you’re manifesting type 2 diabetes symptoms.
If you notice that you develop any of these symptoms, contact your doctor.
- Unusual thirst
- Frequent urination
- Weight loss despite increased hunger
- Fatigue and confusion
- Blurry vision
- Sores that are don’t heal quickly.
It is important that you visit your doctor if you develop any of these type 2 diabetes symptoms, but especially if you experience them in conjunction or for a prolonged period of time.
These symptoms indicate that your blood glucose levels are out of control. If they aren’t regulated as soon as possible, you could experience more serious conditions, like coma and death.
Is Type 2 Diabetes Unavoidable If You Have a Family History of Diabetes?
While it’s true that some people have a genetic predisposition for diabetes, it doesn’t mean that they’re doomed to receive that diagnosis.
Yes, genetics definitely play a role, but they’re only half of the picture.
The other part that we need to pay close attention to is environment.
In most cases, environmental factors have to be present to act as a trigger for the genetic predisposition to kick in.
That means that you can take steps to avoid diabetes, particularly type 2.
What can you do to prevent getting prediabetes or diabetes?
Diabetes experts recommend the following:
- Lose weight
- Change your diet
- Reduce stress
- Make sure you get enough sleep
- Stop smoking.
Excess weight, particularly around the belly can contribute to diabetes. When you have fat surrounding and even entering some of the organs – like the liver – it wreaks havoc on your body. The cells in your liver, and even in the fat itself, don’t recognize insulin, thereby reducing its ability to absorb glucose.
That’s why it’s so important to lose weight through diet and exercise.
Eating too many high-sugar foods can tax the pancreas. It tries to keep up with the demand by producing more and more insulin, but since the muscle, liver, and fat cells don’t recognize the insulin, the sugar just continues to accumulate.
Switch over to complex carbohydrates that are high in fiber, like whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Exercise is also a vital component to reducing your chances of developing type 2 diabetes. How so?
When you exercise, the muscles can burn excess glucose without insulin. That means that you’ll stabilize your blood sugar levels even if you aren’t producing enough insulin.
Adequate sleep is important, too. When you don’t get enough sleep, the pancreas ends up producing lower levels of insulin. Additionally, a lack of sleep results in stress hormones being released. These hormones – particularly cortisol – prevent insulin from doing its job effectively.
Though it will take some effort, these lifestyle changes can help you avoid getting a diabetes diagnosis and help you balance blood sugar levels if you already have it.
Type 2 Diabetes Can Be Successfully Managed
Getting a diabetes diagnosis can be emotionally devastating. No one wants to be told they have a life-altering and threatening condition. It’s a scary and confusing time.
Thankfully, diabetes is a disease that can be managed. In fact, some people have even been able to get off of their medications because their diabetes is so well managed.
If you receive a type 2 diagnosis – don’t lose heart. With some changes to your diet and lifestyle you can manage your type 2 diabetes symptoms and keep your body healthy and strong.