10:52 Tuesday 07 January 2014

Factfile Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes

Written byROB SMYTH

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THERE are two main types of diabetes, referred to as type 1 and type 2.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to function properly, or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin.

In some cases of Type 2 diabetes, it may be possible to control symptoms by altering lifestyle, such as eating a healthy diet.

However, as Type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition, sufferers may eventually need medication to keep their blood glucose at normal levels.

To start with this will usually take the form of tablets, but later on it may include injected therapies, such as insulin.

Type 1 diabetes is often referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes.

It is also sometimes known as juvenile diabetes or early-onset diabetes because it often develops before the age of 40, usually during the teenage years.

In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas (a small gland behind the stomach) does not produce any insulin.

Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood glucose levels.

If the amount of glucose in the blood is too high, it can seriously damage the body’s organs.

If people have type 1 diabetes, they will need to take insulin injections for life.

Diabetes can cause various symptoms. Symptoms common to both types of diabetes include:

•feeling very thirsty;

•urinating frequently, particularly at night;

•feeling very tired; and

•weight loss and loss of muscle bulk.

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