Type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed during a person's childhood. In this kind of diabetes, a person doesn't produce insulin, and insulin replacement is needed to help their body function normally. In contrast, type 2 diabetes is mainly diagnosed in adults. Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1 diabetes, and it's very different because it's largely preventable. A person who has type 2 diabetes does make insulin, but their body doesn't process the insulin properly. This is known as insulin resistance. If type 2 diabetes isn't treated and reaches its later stages, a person may make less and less insulin, making their condition more similar to that of a person who has type 1 diabetes.
The warning signs of type 1 diabetes tend to come on suddenly. They may include extreme thirst, increased urination, increased hunger, unexplained weight loss, blurry visions, and chronic exhaustion. The early warning signs of type 2 diabetes are often so subtle as to be hardly noticeable. As the disease starts to progress, the signs of type 2 diabetes may include blurry vision, slow healing, extreme thirst, yeast infections, dry mouth, pain in the extremities, numbness in the extremities, and more frequent urination.
While type 1 diabetes can't be prevented, type 2 diabetes can. People who are obese or seriously overweight have an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The more fat on the body, the more that the body's cells can resist insulin. Being 45 or older, poor dietary choices, having high cholesterol, having high blood pressure, and leading a sedentary lifestyle are all risk factors for the development of type 2 diabetes as well.
Diabetes treatment involves monitoring and controlling insulin levels. In type 1 diabetes, patients typically need regular insulin injections. In type 2 diabetes, patients need to monitor their insulin levels and make positive lifestyle changes. If lifestyle changes aren't sufficient to control the type 2 diabetes, either oral or injected medications may also be prescribed.
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