Type 1 vs. Type 2 Diabetes: What’s the Difference

Diabetes is when the body’s blood sugar also known as glucose, rises higher than normal which is known as hyperglycemia.  Diabetes can be separated into two main subtypes, Type 1 diabetes, and Type 2 diabetes. Do you know the difference?

Type 1 Diabetes:

Results from body’s inability to produce insulin, therefore this type of diabetic needs insulin injections. Common symptoms include frequent urination, increased thirst, increased hunger, unusual weight loss, extreme fatigue and irritability.  Type 1 diabetes is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes:

Results from cells inability to use insulin or insulin resistance. Common symptoms include any of the type 1 symptoms, frequent infections - especially in skin, gums or bladder, blurred vision, slow-healing cuts and bruises and tingling/numbness in hands/feet.  Type 2 is the more common of the two types, and is often treated with medication. This is also known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes or adult-onset diabetes. 

What are the risk factors for diabetes?

People are at a greater risk for developing diabetes if they: are over the age of 45, have a family history of diabetes, are overweight, are not physically active, have high blood pressure, are non-Hispanic black, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, American Indian or an Alaska native.

Can you prevent diabetes?

It is possible to delay or even prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes through a healthy lifestyle.  Changing your diet to include foods with a low glycemic index including: calcium, potassium, fiber, magnesium and vitamins A, C and E can be wholly beneficial.  Foods like beans, dark green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, sweet potatoes, berries, tomatoes, fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, whole grains, nuts and fat-free milk and yogurt aregreat “super foods” to help prevent/manage diabetes.  Also, trying to avoid high calorie snack foods, such as desserts, chips, cookies, cakes and full-fat ice cream can also benefit those at risk.

How does diabetes affect men’s health?

Increased levels of blood glucose can damage blood vessels and nerves throughout the entire body, including the penis, leading to erectile dysfunction.  In addition, certain medications can also cause ED.  Smoking, being overweight and physical inactivity can also contribute to ED and diabetes.  Similarly, men with type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to suffer from low testosterone as a man without diabetes.  Symptoms of low testosterone include diminished interest in sex, ED, lack of energy and reduced lean body mass.  Sexual health can be affected by diabetes, stress, cardiovascular issues and low testosterone levels.  Thus, it is important to consult your health care provider about how to best manage these life issues.