A professor of Medicine and endocrinologist at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital and associate professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Antonia Ogbera, has recently shed more light on the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Prof. Ogbera said diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic diseases characterized by hyperglycaemia. In the oral cavity, diabetes mellitus may lead to salivary dysfunction,increased susceptibility of oral tissues to trauma and periodontal disease.
She explained the major types of this disease, which are type 1 diabetes mellitus and type 2 diabetes.The type 1 has its onset in childhood and requiring lifelong insulin injections,while the type 2 has its onset in adulthood and often requiring glucose lowering drugs (in tablet form) and sometimes insulin injections.
The endocrinologist noted that type 2 diabetes mellitus is the commonly occurring type of diabetes mellitus and it accounts for 95 per cent persons of persons living with diabetes mellitus.
“The type 2 diabetes mellitus is a global public health crisis that threatens the economies of all nations, particularly developing countries including Nigeria”.
“Although type 2 diabetes mellitus has its onset in adults usually above 30 years of age, this form is becoming increasingly common in teenagers and the reasons for this scenario include, intake of calorie dense foods, lack of exercise and overweight or obesity, she said”.
Dr Michelle Griffith, a practicing endocrinologist, also gave signs and symptoms of diabetes that are common to both types of diabetes.
Fatigue; hunger during or shortly after a meal; weight loss; despite eating more; extreme thirst; frequent urination, blurred vision; slow healing of cuts and bruises; tingling; pain; or numbness in the hands or feet; and acanthosis nigricans; an issue that causes skin on the neck; armpits; groin; and other areas to change colour and texture, possibly becoming velvety
It is worth noting that factors such as age and overall health can affect how a person experiences these symptoms.
Diagnosis and treatment
Griffith said: “Doctors are the ones that typically diagnose diabetes by asking about symptoms and ordering a blood test, which can show high blood sugar levels.
She said if the person is not experiencing symptoms, the doctor may order a follow-up test to confirm the diagnosis.
“Treatment depends on the type of diabetes. A person with type 1 needs to take insulin every day, using injections or pumps.
“For a person with type 2 diabetes, a doctor recommends self-care strategies and other ways to manage blood sugar levels. This might involve taking prescribed medications, including insulin, she added.”
Dr Griffith advised that it is important to follow the recommended treatment plan. Anyone who is having difficulty doing this or experiencing any side effects should consult their doctor for guidance right away.
According to Medicalnewstoday, type 1 diabetes develops when the body’s immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that are responsible for producing insulin.
It added that when this happens, the body cannot produce enough insulin to process and regulate blood sugar and as a result, people with type 1 diabetes require lifelong insulin in addition to other therapies and care strategies.
Health experts are still unsure of the precise causes, but genetic and environmental factors, such as viruses, may play a role.
It also noted that a person with type 2 diabetes either does not produce enough insulin or their body does not use it efficiently. The latter is known as insulin resistance. According to the site, a person with type 2 has excess sugar builds up in the bloodstream, resulting in symptoms and, without treatment, complications.
Type 2 diabetes typically develops in older adults, but it can affect younger people.
Also, type 2 diabetes appears to be more common among people who:
are not physically active or have a sedentary lifestyle
have extra belly fat
have had gestational diabetes, which develops during pregnancy
have hypertension, or high blood pressure
are older than 35
have a family history
According to American Diabetes Association, these are the healthy foods any diabetic person should eat: Fruits and vegetables, lean meats and plant-based sources of protein, less added sugar and less processed foods.
Health facts: About diabetes
About one third of people with diabetes do not know they have the disease.
Type 2 diabetes often does not have any symptoms.
Only about five per cent of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes.
If you are at risk, type 2 diabetes can be prevented with moderate weight loss (10–15 pounds) and 30 minutes of moderate physical activity (such as brisk walking) each day.
A meal plan for a person with diabetes isn’t very different than that which is recommended for people without diabetes.
Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in working-age adults.
People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop heart disease as someone without diabetes.
Good control of diabetes significantly reduces the risk of developing complications and prevents complications from getting worse.
Bariatric surgery can reduce the symptoms of diabetes in obese people.
Diabetes costs $174 billion annually, including $116 billion in direct medical expenses.
Spotting the early symptoms of diabetes can help a person receive a timely diagnosis and start treatment right away. This helps prevent diabetes complications, which can be very dangerous.