Diabetes Type I and Type II: What Is the difference?

If you have been diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus Type I or Type II you are probably wondering what it is and what the difference is

between the two types. Diabetes Mellitus is a disease that affects that body’s ability to produce insulin and/or the body’s ability to use it. Insulin is a hormone that is made by the pancreas which helps the body store energy (glucose) for later use. Like all hormones our body needs to keep these levels balanced to prevent damage to other organs. Current acceptable blood glucose levels should be between 80 and 120 before meals. Unfortunately with untreated diabetes these levels can get out of balance and become


Diabetes Mellitus Type I is also known as Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM) or juvenile diabetes. The pancreas produces little to no insulin and the patient must take injections daily as well as use diet and exercise to control blood glucose levels. Oral

medications are not effective in treating Type I Diabetes Mellitus. The onset of Type I diabetes is usually before the age of 30, but may happen at any age. The patient is usually thin but may be of normal weight. Onset is usually a sudden case of high blood glucose. The symptoms of DM Type I are frequent urination, often getting up a number of times during the night to urinate. Other symptoms are excessive thirst, constant hunger and fatigue.

Diabetes Mellitus Type II is also known as Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM) or adult onset diabetes. 90% of people with diabetes fall into this category. The pancreas produces normal to high normal levels of insulin, but the body is not able to use it correctly. These patients are usually managed with diet, exercise and oral medications, a small number may need insulin especially in times of illness or stress. Patients with Type II diabetes are often obese (85%) with high carbohydrate diets, but may be of normal

weight. This type of diabetes usually occurs after the age of 30. Symptoms may be mild to none as the body adapts to the slow rise in blood glucose levels.

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