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Type 1 diabetes, sometimes called juvenile onset diabetes, is caused by an absolute deficiency of insulin, which is why the treatment involves insulin injections.
The type of diabetes that is rapidly increasing these days is type 2 diabetes, also call adult onset diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a different ballgame. Here, the problem is a resistance to insulin or a decreased production of insulin. Insulin is the key that opens the doors to cells, allowing sugar to come from the blood and move into the cell to be used as energy. When that door wont unlock (because of resistance to insulin), the sugar levels build up in the blood and eventually cause damage in many parts of the body -- the eyes, kidneys, nerves, blood vessels, and heart.
So here’s the way I like to think about it:
Everything thing you eat is converted into glucose by your digestive system and dumped into your bloodstream. To get the glucose from the blood into each cell, your body uses a hormone called insulin.
You can think of insulin as a waitress whose job it is to deliver food to the cell’s table.
In those of us with Type-1 Diabetes, the waitress just stalked off the job. We can smell the food from the kitchen, but we sit at the table and starve.
In those of you with Type-2 Diabetes, the waitress is lazy. She brings the salad, sometimes the soup, but never the full meal. Your entrée, and those of your dinner guests, just pile up at the little window in front of the kitchen.
Likewise in our diabetic bodies, sugar piles up. The lack of insulin or the presence of lazy insulin (called insulin resistance) keeps the glucose from the cells where it is needed. As a result, the bloodstream becomes flooded with the sugar that can’t get into the cells, and that sets off a cascade of trouble.
Diabetes is a metabolic disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, a hormone needed to allow glucose to enter the cells. In other words, your body cannot use the fuel in the blood for energy.
Type 1 diabetes, previously known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Often diagnosed before the age of 30 but can occur at any time.
Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1 diabetes and occurs when the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin or doesn't make enough insulin. It was previously known as noninsulin-dependent diabetes and is greatly affected by lifestyle choices.
Diagnosis of Diabetes:
Individuals with type 1 diabetes have no insulin production. With type 2 diabetes, the body still produces insulin but it is insufficient or ineffective. Approximately 90% of diabetes cases are type 2. Prediabetes is a condition when the blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for the diagnosis of diabetes.
Diabetes occurs when insufficient insulin production leads to abnormal metabolism of glucose, protein, and fat. Type 1, insulin dependent diabetes, is typically first seen in childhood. Type 2, insulin resistance, typically arises in adulthood, but there has been an increase in the condition being diagnosed in childhood. Although genetic predispositions impact both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, lifestyle factors such as poor diet and lack of physical activity account for 90-95% of type 2 diabetes.
From Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Jennifer Trachtenberg.
Find out more about this book:Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children