Martha Jefferson Monday: Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 D - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Martha Jefferson Monday: Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes occurs when a person doesn't make enough insulin, or when the effects of their insulin production take a toll on their blood sugar or glucose. But, there are two very different types of the disease.

"Type 1 diabetes is an absolute insulin deficiency which is caused by autoimmune destruction of the cells in the pancreas that make insulin," said Dr. Kara Hawkins, an endocrinologist at Martha Jefferson Medical and Surgical Associates. "Type 2 diabetes is sort of a more complex nature. It's due to both relative insulin deficiency and insulin resistance."

Type 1 diabetes is typically seen in children or young adults, whereas Type 2 affects more adults. People with Type 1 must be treated with insulin, compared to people with Type 2 who don't necessarily have to take insulin, especially in the early stages of their diagnosis. And, when it comes to risk factors, genetic disposition plays a role in Type 1, and lifestyle habits, and family history are factors when it comes to Type 2.

"A strong family history in first degree relatives, is a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes," noted Dr. Hawkins. "Also, being overweight or obese and then poor diet, or high fat diet and sedentary lifestyle also play a role."

But there are treatment options for both, and diabetes is a disease that can be managed by working together with your physician.

"For Type 1 diabetes, the mainstay is insulin," said Dr. Hawkins. "Patients have to have insulin to survive. For Type 2 diabetes there is sort of more of a difference among patients. In the early stages they may be able to be treated with dietary changes alone, so low-fat diets, modest carbohydrate intake and weight reduction in addition to an increase in exercise."

For more information on this topic, call Health Connection at (434) 654-7009. If you have a health question you'd like us to answer, email healthquestions@nbc29.com.

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Submit your questions now! Just click this link and write your question in the email. Then tune in every Monday morning during NBC29 News at Sunrise for Martha Jefferson Monday brought to you by NBC29 and Martha Jefferson Hospital.

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