What's the Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes share the problem of high levels of blood sugar. The inability to control blood sugar causes the symptoms and the complications of both types of diabetes. But type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are two different diseases in many ways. According to the latest (2014) estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 29.1 million people, or 9.3 percent of the U.S. population, have diabetes. Type 1 diabetes affects just 5 percent of those adults, with type 2 diabetes affecting up to 95 percent. Here’s what else you need to know to be health-savvy in the age of the diabetes epidemic.
What Causes Diabetes?
"Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease — the body's immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that make insulin," a hormone, says Andjela Drincic, MD, associate professor of internal medicine in the division of diabetes, endocrinology, and metabolism at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. The exact cause is not known, but it's probably a combination of the genes a person is born with and something in the environment that triggers the genes to become active.
"The cause of type 2 diabetes is multifactorial," says Dr. Drincic. "People inherit genes that make them susceptible to type 2, but lifestyle factors, like obesity and inactivity, are also important. In type 2 diabetes, at least in the early stages, there is enough insulin, but the body becomes resistant to it." Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include a family history of the disease, a poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle, and obesity. African-Americans Continue reading