Diabetes is also known as diabetes mellitus. There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. The condition is characterized by a group of diseases that affect how the body uses blood sugar, or glucose. Glucose is essential to us as humans because it is a major source of energy for the tissue and muscle cells in our bodies. It also serves at the main source of energy for the brain. Having either type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes simply means that a person has too much glucose in their blood. The difference is in what causes each type of diabetes. When a person has too much glucose in their blood, it can result in serious health problems.
About 5 to 10 out of 100 people who have diabetes have type 1 diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the immune system destroys the cells that produce insulin. Without insulin, cells cannot absorb glucose, which they need to produce energy. The symptoms of type 1 diabetes usually start in childhood or young adulthood. People often experience episodes of low blood sugar level, which is known as hypoglycemia. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented.
While type 2 diabetes may develop at any age, it most often appears in adulthood. About 90 to 95 out of 100 people who have diabetes have type 2 diabetes. This makes it the most common type of diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, the body is unable to use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. As type 2 diabetes progresses, the pancreas produces less insulin. This is called insulin deficiency. Some people may not have any symptoms before diagnosis. There are no episodes of low blood sugar level, unless the person is taking insulin or certain diabetes medicines. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes being a healthy weight, eating a well-balanced diet, and exercising regularly.
The symptoms of diabetes may vary depending on how much your blood sugar is elevated. Some people, especially those with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, may not experience symptoms initially. In type 1 diabetes, symptoms tend to come on quickly and be more severe. Some of the signs and symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes include increased thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, unexplained weight loss, presence of ketones in the urine, fatigue, irritability, blurred vision, slow-healing sores, and frequent infections, such as gums or skin infections and vaginal infections.