A Diabetes Overview
Most people have heard of the term diabetes, and are familiar with the fact that there are two main types: type 1 and type 2. But what does that mean?
Diabetes is a a chronic disease that affects the way the body regulates blood sugar, also known as glucose. Glucose is a key source of energy for our bodies. Glucose enters our blood stream with the help of insulin. Patients with type 1 diabetes don’t produce insulin. Patients with type 2 diabetes don’t respond to insulin as well as they should.
Type 1 Diabetes
The cause of type 1 diabetes is believed to be genetic. In this diagnosis, the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells as foreign invaders. The immune system destroys the cells that produce the much needed insulin. Once these cells are destroyed, the body can no longer produce insulin.
Type 2 Diabetes
The cause of type 2 diabetes is thought to be rated to lifestyle, including excessive weight gain, related to diet and inactivity. The insulin in these patients is still produced by the body, but is not used efficiently. The body will try to overcompensate for the inefficiency by producing more insulin, which is again not productive, and results in glucose accumulation in the bloodstream.
Patients in both cases often experience similar symptoms. These symptoms can include: hunger, thirst, fatigue, frequent urination, blurred vision and sores that don’t heal properly. Type 1 patients may also experience mood swings and unintentional weight loss; and type 2 patients may find they have numbness in their hands or feet.
While the symptoms are similar, the way they develop varies. Type 1 symptoms show quickly, usually over the course of a few weeks. This typically happens in childhood or adolescence. Type 2 patients may not see their symptoms for several years. Due to the slow nature of development, these patients often do not know of their disease until they experience complications.
Both types of diabetes lead to high blood sugar levels that must be managed. We encourage you to participate in one of our clinical studies that are working towards a cure for this disease.