Glucose (sugar) is the fuel the body’s cells use to burn for energy. For the sugar to move through the cell walls, the hormone insulin must unlock them. Diabetes occurs when this system becomes compromised, the body cannot use insulin properly, and sugar levels build up in the bloodstream. There are two main types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. What is the difference between them? Read on to find out!
The pancreas uses special insulin-producing beta cells to manufacture insulin according to the ebb and flow of the body’s needs. In type 1 diabetes (T1D), the immune system mistakenly attacks these beta cells and destroys them. This continues until the pancreas is no longer able to produce insulin. Anyone of any age can develop T1D. Since the body does not make the insulin with this type, individuals living with T1D depend on supplemental insulin via injection or pump to regulate their blood glucose levels.
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is the most common type of diabetes. Individuals living with T2D have insulin resistance, meaning their bodies can still make insulin but resist its effects. The body compensates by producing more insulin, but it can’t always keep up and produce enough. Eventually, the strain on the beta cells burns them out and can destroy them, diminishing insulin production.
Researchers are still trying to understand precisely why some people become insulin resistant, and others don’t. We do know genetics and various environmental factors play a role along with several lifestyle factors, including:
• Being overweight or obese
• High triglyceride levels
If you have type 2 diabetes, clinical research studies may be an option. Want to learn more about enrolling options here at Rainier Clinical Research Center? Visit our website, or contact us toll-free at 888-478-8343.
A common diabetes complication is a type of nerve damage called Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN). Read more on the symptoms and management of DPN.