Differences between Type I vs. Type II Diabetes
Type I Diabetes is usually diagnosed during the childhood or teenage years when the patient is brought into the emergency room with DKA (see above). Unlike many people with diabetes type II, people with type I are usually not overweight. Their insulin levels are low to nonexistent, rather than high, and their symptoms seem to come on suddenly. Their disease is caused by a destruction of the beta cells rather than by insulin resistance. Oral medications and the new incretin mimetics are not recommended for people with type I diabetes.
Because people with Type I Diabetes do not have any insulin, they have a much more difficult time controlling their blood sugars. It requires more time, effort, and expense to maintain healthy levels of blood sugar. Type I diabetics must check their blood sugar more often, visit their endocrinologist more frequently, count carbohydrate consumption accurately, and self-administer insulin in exact amounts. They must also learn their bodies’ specific reactions to eating, exercising, and insulin administration; this helps them notice the patterns of their high and low blood sugars in order to know what to expect and make treating their condition a little easier. Type I Diabetics must also learn to objectively recognize physiological and emotional symptoms of high and low blood sugars and remind themselves to test their blood sugar and treat it accordingly.