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The Differences Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Nearly 10% of Americans live with diabetes, making it one of the most common chronic conditions in the country. Unfortunately, nearly a quarter of those people don’t yet realize they have diabetes.

One of the barriers to diagnosis is that diabetes comes in two main different forms, Type 1 and Type 2, each of which has very distinct diagnostic criteria. 

At Nguyen Medical Group in Boynton Beach, Florida, our team of doctors wants to help you understand diabetes so you can get the care you need. That’s why we offer dedicated diabetes care so you can best manage your condition.

But in order for you to get in control of your health, it’s important to first understand the differences between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and how they can affect you. 

Type 1 diabetes

Insulin is a hormone that is normally produced by your pancreas and helps your body transform glucose (sugar) in your blood into energy. However, in Type 1 diabetes, your pancreas fails to produce insulin, causing sugar to build up to dangerous amounts in your bloodstream.

Because Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder caused by genetics, it’s usually diagnosed in childhood or early adulthood. That’s why it was previously known as juvenile diabetes. If you have Type 1 diabetes, it’s important to regularly check your blood sugar levels and inject insulin on a regular basis to keep them under control.

Some of the symptoms that might indicate Type 1 diabetes, especially in children, include:

While Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and teenagers, you can get diagnosed even in your 20s and 30s, so it’s important to be aware of the possible symptoms. 

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes often occurs later in life due to lifestyle factors that cause your body to become insulin resistant. This usually happens in people with diets high in sugar and processed food or who might be overweight. 

With Type 2 diabetes, your body becomes insulin resistant, meaning more insulin is needed to convert blood sugar into energy. Although your pancreas produces more insulin to compensate for this resistance, this can still lead to dangerously high blood sugar levels.

Unfortunately, Type 2 diabetes is often undiagnosed in most people. Symptoms that may indicate having Type 2 diabetes or being prediabetic include:

However, because Type 2 diabetes is usually caused by lifestyle choices, there are simple lifestyle changes that can usually help manage Type 2 diabetes without needing insulin injections. If these lifestyle changes aren’t enough to manage your condition, we may recommend non-insulin medication or insulin treatments. 

With either type of diabetes, it’s important to pay extra attention to your diet, get enough exercise, and monitor your blood sugar with testing devices. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, contact our team at Nguyen Medical Group for help managing your condition by calling 561-203-6295 or making an appointment online.  

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