This form of Diabetes often starts in childhood or as a young adult, typically between the ages of 11 and 13, and is due to a deficiency of the hormone Insulin. While the exact cause is unknown, the body’s own immune system often destroys the insulin-producing Beta cells in the, causing not enough glucose can be taken up by the cells. This process may be the result of a hereditary predisposition and certain environmental factors (i.e. viral infections such as measles or mumps).
Symptoms of Type 1:
The symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes first arise when 80% of the insulin-producing cells are destroyed. Symptoms include:
The time between the onset of disease and the presentation of symptoms can be weeks, months, or also years.
Those affected by Type 1 Diabetes must regularly inject themselves with Insulin in order to compensate for their deficiency of this hormone. The disease progresses until all of the insulin-producing cells are affected, and the body no longer produces any of its own insulin.
Type 2 Diabetes affects mostly older individuals and is therefore often known as „Adult-onset Diabetes.“ The age of onset of Diabetes has, in more recent years, decreased, with more young people (including children) being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. In Type 2 Diabetes, the body’s cells are less susceptible to insulin secreted by the Pancreas; this causes the blood glucose level to rise. In order to compensate and maintain a blood sugar level within a normal range, the pancreas produces more insulin. After many years, and a heavy burden on the insulin-producing cells, the production of insulin also decreases. Factors that cause insulin resistance include a high-fat diet, obesity (especially in the abdominal area), high blood pressure and lack of exercise. Those with a genetic predisposition must be particularly cautious to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Symptoms of Type 2:
For a long time this disease often goes unnoticed, with symptoms arising typically only once complications arise.
If the blood glucose level remains uncontrolled, the blood vessels can become damaged and further complications may arise. These include:
Once numbness or paresthesia is present, Diabetes can cause permanent nerve damage. It is therefore imperative to adopt a lifelong and cautious approach to blood sugar management.
The most common complication of Diabetes is diabetic foot. Nerve damage and circulation problems in the feet lead to open, poorly healing wounds and ulcers.
It is important to note, however, that complications from Type 2 Diabetes can be prevented if a lifestyle change is adopted early on in the disease. Frequent activity, maintaining a normal weight and healthy eating can help stabilize the blood sugar level. If the disease has already progressed, medications or insulin injections must be prescribed in order to regulate the blood sugar level.