What is diabetes? Well, there are two kinds of diabetes: type 1 and type 2 diabetes mostly. And they’re interrelated but not similar, and well, that’s related to insulin.
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Understanding the Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is a condition of elevated blood sugar, and there are two main types of diabetes. There's type 1 diabetes, where there's a deficiency in the production of insulin, and type 2 where there's both a deficiency in production and probably more importantly, a resistance to your own body's insulin. Most of that resistance coming from excessive body weight.
Now when blood sugars become elevated there's immediate effects. Patients will often feel unwell. It will make you feel fatigued, thirsty, you'll be peeing more frequently. You may get up at night to pee when that's not your usual practice, and your muscles can actually become painful and ache. And then there's the long-term effects which are the more important medically, and that can include an increased risk of visual loss, eye damage, kidney damage, damage to your nerves, most likely in the legs with numbness and tingling. Often seeing a local family physician or a physiotherapist in conjunction with a registered dietitian and athletic therapist is a great option to take control of this condition.
And then the vascular complications of diabetes which include an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, damage to your peripheral circulation through your lower limbs. It also unfortunately, especially with type 2 diabetes, comes with an increased risk of getting high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
And the combination of all those factors are very, very powerful in terms of increasing one's risk of vascular disease. So when diabetes has been diagnosed it's not just important to treat your blood sugars it's important to treat the other risk factors for vascular disease, high blood pressure if you have it, high cholesterol and other factors with your health. Presenter: Dr. Richard Bebb, Endocrinologist, Victoria, BC