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How Are Diabetes Mellitus Type 1 and Type 2 Different?

There are two forms of diabetes mellitus. In Type I (sometimes called insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes if it begins in adolescence), there is a total inability to secrete insulin (insulin is needed for the body to convert carbohydrates to energy). In Type II (sometimes called non-insulin dependent or adult-onset diabetes), insulin is not produced sufficiently to properly use carbohydrates for energy.

Symptoms for both types of diabetes mellitus are similar, and include: excess thirst, increased frequency of urination and an increase in hunger, fatigue, and possibly itchy skin.

The cause of diabetes mellitus type 1 is not well understood but is thought to be an autoimmune disease that may result from a viral infection of the pancreas. There may also be a family history that may skip a generation. Diabetes mellitus type 2 is more common than Type I and is associated with many risk factors such as obesity, stress, or Pregnancy.

Observation of the aforementioned symptoms should prompt an evaluation by a physician. The evaluation may include a physical examination and analysis of urine and blood (i.e. fasting blood glucose).

As for treatment,diabetes mellitus type 1 is controlled by insulin injections or an insulin pump prescribed by a physician. Diabetes mellitus type 2 may need to be controlled by oral medication, but many with diabetes mellitus type 2 can avoid medication if measures are taken to control diet and weight.

Complications can occur if diabetes mellitus is not controlled, such as heart disease or artery disease, vision impairment, kidney disorders, decreased blood flow to legs and feet, and sexual impotency in males. If too much insulin is used to treat the disease, blood sugar levels will drop to dangerously low levels (insulin shock).

To find more on the similarities and differences between diabetes mellitus type 1 and 2 click go to our page on Diabetes Mellitus Symptoms.

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