When someone has this condition, it means that their body can’t maintain healthy glucose levels – so what are the differences to note between type one or type two diabetes?
While similar in name, type one and type two diabetes are virtually two very different diseases that stem from oppositional and unique causes. This illness is often not very well understood by the everyday Australian, but severe complications associated with diabetes can include seizures, loss of consciousness and even death. This is a chronic disease that must be taken seriously, but thanks to modern medicine – living with diabetes is getting easier.
Glucose (a type of sugar) is the fuel that your body needs to function properly, but to enter the body’s cells it needs a particular type of key – insulin. If we consider the obvious points of difference between having either type of diabetes, they would include:
Type One Diabetes – The body doesn’t produce insulin to regulate glucose and blood sugar levels, and usually appears earlier in life and in children. Often hereditary, only 5% of people living with diabetes have type one.
Type Two Diabetes – The body doesn’t respond as well to insulin as it used too (referred to as insulin resistance), and can take years for symptoms to appear. Risk factors associated with developing this form include obesity, smoking, an unhealthy diet and some medications.
Pregnant women may also develop gestational diabetes, which can cause high blood sugar levels and affect both the mother and the baby’s health.
Are There Specific Symptoms Of Type One Or Type Two Diabetes?
Although the onset, history and diagnosis can significantly differ between the two conditions, if uncontrolled or left unchecked similar symptoms can include:
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Constant thirst or drinking a lot of water
- Feeling extremely hungry
- Extreme or sudden fatigue
- Blurry vision
- Open cuts or sores that don’t heal properly
- Unexplained weight loss
When it comes to key differences between the two illnesses, people who suffer from type one diabetes may experience more predominant mood changes or an increase in irritability. In comparison, people with type two diabetes may experience numbness or a tingling sensation in their hands or feet.
How Is Diabetes Diagnosed?
While there is no cure for either condition, an early diagnosis can be crucial when it comes to managing symptoms and staying on top of any potential complications and health risks.
In order to diagnose either type of diabetes, and depending on your personal circumstances, a doctor may conduct a series of tests. These may include:
- Undergoing an A1C Test, which doctors also call the hemoglobin A1C, HbA1c, or glycohemoglobin test.
- Fasting Plasma Glucose Test (FPG)
- Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT)
- Random Plasma Glucose Test (RPG)
The results may indicate either type one, type two, gestational, or prediabetes. Long-term lifestyle amendments and medication may be prescribed.
If you think you may be presenting with symptoms of either type one or type two diabetes, then it’s worth speaking to a doctor. Online telehealth services like 13 Doctor can provide assistance in navigating symptoms, and provide access to a medical professional from the comfort of your own home.