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What Are the Differences Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?

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Diabetes is a medical condition that affects the production and use of insulin in the body, and there are two types of this condition. The causes, development, and treatment are all different for type 1 and type 2. Fort Myers elderly care experts recommend knowing the differences should your senior loved one be at risk of developing diabetes.

Onset and Symptoms

Type 1 diabetes, which used to be known as juvenile diabetes, causes the destruction of cells responsible for producing insulin. This type of diabetes is generally present from birth and shows up at a young age. Over time, the production of insulin is completely eliminated by the body’s immune system and the body is left unable to absorb glucose. Type 1 naturally results in low blood sugar episodes, also known as hypoglycemia, which is usually caused by medications in type 2.

Type 2 diabetes, or noninsulin-dependent diabetes, can show up at any age but doesn’t usually become an issue until adulthood. However, there is an increasing incidence of childhood diagnosis of type 2 diabetes due to various health issues and the growing weight problem in the Western world. Approximately 90-95 percent of people with diabetes have type 2, which causes the body to develop insulin resistance. Insulin is still produced, but the body doesn’t use it correctly. Over time, the production of insulin in the pancreas can be reduced, leading to an insulin deficiency.


While both conditions increase risks for other serious complications, they are entirely different when it comes to prevention and maintenance. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented. Type 2, however, can be delayed and/or prevented entirely by leading a healthy lifestyle, which includes exercise, healthy eating, and maintaining a healthy weight. Both forms of diabetes remain the leading cause of kidney failure and blindness, and are huge risk factors for stroke, heart disease, and appendage amputations.

Are diabetes-related symptoms making it difficult for your senior loved one to accomplish daily tasks? A professional in-home caregiver can help make his or her life easier. For live-in and part-time care Fort Myers families trust, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can provide mobility assistance and medication reminders for your loved one and help with tasks around the house such as cooking, cleaning, and bathing. For more information on our senior care services, call an experienced Care Manager at 239.449.4701 to schedule a complimentary consultation.