Differentiating between Diabetes Mellitus Type 1 and Type 2
The pancreas is a vital organ in the body and part of the endocrine system which regulates body metabolism. Without proper insulin production, the crucial balance of the body’s system of checks and balances, involving hormones, digestion and healthy cell function will fail. Diabetes is an autoimmune disease that attacks cells of the pancreas and either prevents it’s production of insulin or causes it to become insulin resistant.
Juvenile onset Diabetes (JOD) is commonly called Diabetes Mellitus Type 1 and is very serious. JOD is a lifelong disease and will require daily insulin injections and constant monitoring of both blood and urine. The pancreas normally produces insulin that moves glucose to cells of the body for energy and survival.
Type 1 Diabetes, and also Type 2 called Adult onset Diabetes (AOD), is an autoimmune disease that attacks cells of the pancreas and either prevents insulin production as in Type 1 or is insulin resistant and responds abnormally as in Type 2.
The two types of diabetes are typically diagnosed by the age at onset. However, it is possible for an adult to be diagnosed with Type 1 and a child to be diagnosed with Type 2.
Diabetes Mellitus Type 1 : Adult Onset Diabetes (AOD)
Early signs of Diabetes Mellitus Type 1, when glucose levels are low (hypoglycemia), are excessive thirst and hunger; sluggishness, blurry eyesight; tingling in feet, urinating often and unexplained weight loss. There may also be headache, nervousness, shaking and sweating. The total opposite may occur, especially after treatment by daily injections, when the glucose levels are too high (hyperglycemia).
This condition may cause diabetic ketoacidosis resulting in rapid breathing; dry skin and mouth; flushed face; a fruity small to the breath; stomach pain and possibly nausea and vomiting.
Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 : Juveline Onset Diabetes (JOD)
There is no medical evidence yet to indicate why some children have JOD and others don’t, even in the same families. Once diagnosed, a hospital stay is required to test levels of glucose, to set the insulin doses, and to work with both the child and their family for what will be an ongoing routine for the rest of the child’s life.
Proper education is needed on how to monitor levels of glucose at home in both blood and urine, what type of diet to eat, how to administer insulin injections, where to obtain supplies and how to handle routine sickness and excessive exercise.
In Type 2 diabetes, the disease in kept under control mainly by diet and exercise and possibly drugs may be indicated, but there is no need for daily insulin. Type 2 diabetics can lead normal, healthy productive lives.
Diabetes Type 1.5?
Recently a third type of diabetes is beginning to gain recognition as Type 1.5 or called Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults and it similar to Type 1 but has a slower onset of around six years instead of being immediate like Juvenile Onset Diabetes.