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Understanding Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease where the blood glucose levels in the body are too high and the body cannot use it properly.

There are two main types of diabetes and many differences between them:

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease which means that the body is mistakenly attacking itself. There are many known autoimmune diseases including Lupus, thyroid disease and rheumatoid arthritis. In type 1 diabetes the immune system incorrectly targets insulin producing cells (called beta cells) in the pancreas. It is not known why or how to stop it. Therefore over time the pancreas loses the ability to produce insulin and the person must inject insulin daily. Everyone with type 1 diabetes is insulin dependent and will be for life.

Type 2 diabetes is quite different, and it is important to note that it is generally preventable and can very often be put into remission through lifestyle change. In type 2 diabetes the immune system is not attacking the beta cells in the pancreas. Instead, over time, due to excess sugar and refined carbohydrate consumption, the body loses its ability to respond to insulin, so the person becomes insulin resistant. This happens because the higher the level of sugar in the blood the more insulin the beta cells in the pancreas pump out. Over time and no reduction in circulating sugar these cells get exhausted, burn out and insulin production diminishes.

Common differences between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes:

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