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Type I and Type II - what is the difference?

Diabetics (especially Type I) are often asked if they have diabetes because they ate too much sugar. This is of course wrong.

Type I diabetics have had an increased risk of developing diabetes since birth. To this day, the majority suspect genetic variants or changes that cause the body's own immune system to start a defense against the actually healthy beta cells of the pancreas. The beta cells are located in the islet cells and are responsible for the production of insulin. This means that in type I diabetics, a large part of these beta cells are destroyed - by their own body. As a result, diabetics lack insulin, their blood sugar rises and their body lacks energy. Insulin is mainly responsible for transporting glucose into the cells and thus for channeling energy sources into the cells. When there is no insulin, most of the sugar stays in the bloodstream. It's just not of much use there. As described, the blood sugar rises.

The type I diabetic therefore needs help from outside in the form of a syringe, pen or pump. These devices replace the broken cells in the pancreas and keep blood sugar steady.

The term juvenile diabetes used to be common. However, since the diagnosis is increasingly being made in later years (20+), the majority of people today speak of type I diabetes.

The situation is different for type II diabetics. His beta cells are still functional. The body needs a lot more insulin due to poor diet, too little exercise, being overweight and an unhealthy lifestyle in general. Because the factors mentioned lead to reduced insulin sensitivity. This means that the body no longer reacts to the insulin with the same intensity with the same amount of insulin. In other words, the body needs more insulin to do the same work.

If this condition persists for a long time, the body will eventually reach its capacity limit and its insulin production can no longer be increased. This can go so far that even a type II diabetic has to help with a syringe or pen, and in rare cases even with an insulin pump. Oral therapies (tablets) are often sufficient.

This form of diabetes is to a certain extent “curable”. The body can regenerate itself through a change in lifestyle, for example a healthy diet, sport and a life that is as free of nicotine and alcohol as possible. However, this does not happen overnight, but is more of a process. Weight loss and stress reduction also help. It is also important that outsiders do not think that type II diabetics only became diabetics through their own fault. While this may be true in many cases, it sometimes affects people whose cause is difficult to identify.

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