Type I Diabetes and Type II Diabetes Explained: National Diabetes Month

Type I Diabetes and Type II Diabetes

How ironic that National Diabetes Month falls in November, the start of the holiday season when you’re fighting off all the sugar-filled goodies at work parties and family gatherings. Although controlling your sugar intake is important in preventing and controlling Type II Diabetes, there’s also Type I Diabetes that isn’t caused by what you eat. Many people confuse Type I Diabetes and Type II Diabetes. Let’s take a look at the difference.

How are Type I Diabetes and Type II Diabetes Similar?

Both types of diabetes are  chronic diseases that can impact the way your body regulates glucose, the blood sugar your cells need to operate. Your body needs insulin to allow glucose into your cells. Without insulin, sugars cannot enter cells to produce energy. This also leaves too much sugar in the blood which can ultimately damage small blood vessels resulting in strokes, blindness, foot amputations, heart attacks and kidney failure. Family history is a risk factor for both Type I and II, and both types can happen at any age.

What is the Difference Between Type I Diabetes and Type II Diabetes?

The major difference between Type I and Type II Diabetes is what causes it. One is preventable and one is not.

Type I Diabetes is the one you cannot prevent. It is caused by an autoimmune response in which the immune system mistakes healthy cells for foreign invaders. Pretty much, your immune system winds up destroying beta cells in the pancreas that are responsible for producing insulin.

Type II Diabetes,also known as Type II Diabetes Mellitus, is caused by the body’s inability to use insulin effectively. This is the type you can prevent by making positive lifestyle choices like eating a balanced diet, reducing the amount of processed sugars you eat, and staying active.

Check out Hospitality Heath ER Galveston’s blog on Type II Diabetes Mellitus. If you have Diabetes and are traveling, read our health tips on traveling with Diabetes.