Knowing the difference between Type I and Type II Diabetes

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Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death among Americans. 29 million Americans have diabetes, and 86 million are pre-diabetic, but it can be prevented and avoided.

Dr. Diana Bitner, a nationally recognized women's health specialist from Spectrum Health, explained the difference between the two types of diabetes, and what you can do to prevent it, or to make it easier to go through.

There are two types of diabetes: Type I and Type II. In Type I Diabetes, the pancreas can't make insulin, so the body can't process sugar correctly. The sugar stays in the blood stream and can't get into the cells to be used as energy.

Symptoms of Type I include weight loss, fatigue, thirst, and extreme eating. Type I can be diagnosed with a simple blood sugar test and is usually diagnosed in kids and young adults.

Type II diabetes is typically genetic, but can also be caused by habits like lack of exercise and high carb and sugar diets. Type II diabetes and high blood sugars can cause many complications like kidney disease, hypertension, stroke, and can cause many parts of your body to shut down.

Type II is caused by high blood sugars from insulin resistance, but can be prevented unlike Type I.

The body needs carbohydrates to survive, but there's a difference between healthy and unhealthy carbs. Complex carbs raise the blood sugar slowly and let the pancreas make insulin at a slow pace to get the sugar into body cells instead of store it into fat. Simple carbs raise blood sugar quickly, overwhelming the insulin, and get stored in body fat.

Complex carbs are foods like whole grain, whole wheat bread, brown rice, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, and any other grains. Simple carbs are anything with mostly white flour, white rice, white tortillas, and treats like chocolate or candy.

A healthy diet has only one small treat a day, so sticking to a healthy diet is the first step to preventing or keeping hold of diabetes.

Spectrum Health has many classes on nutrition, information, and help through Healthier Communities and your local doctor. The American Diabetes Association also has information on how to get involved or to educate yourself on diabetes.

Dr. Bitner's office is located at 3800 Lake Michigan Drive Northwest, Suite A. To schedule an appointment with her, call (616) 267-8225.

All information was provided by Dr. Diana Bitner and her blog. Read more.


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  • Perkins Naomi

    In July of 2015. it was discovered that I got type 2 diabetes, By the end of the July month. I was given a prescription for the Metformin, I stated with the ADA diet and followed it completely for several weeks but was unable to get my blood sugar below 140, Without results whatever I did, I really panicked and called my doctor. His response?? Deal with it yourself, I started to feel that something wasn’t right and do my own research, Then I found Lisa’s great blog (google ” HOW I FREED MYSELF FROM THE DIABETES ” ) .. I read it from cover to cover and I started with the diet and by the next morning. my blood sugar was 100, Since then. I get a fasting reading between the mid 70s and 80s, My doctor was very surprised at the results that. the next week. he took me off the Metformin drug, I lost 35 pounds in my two month and lost more than 8 inches off my own waist as well as I can exercise twice per day and still having a lot of energy.The truth is that we can get off the drugs and help myself by trying natural methods..

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  • ALyssa

    I don’t think the first paragraph is very accurate. You go on to say later on in the article that type II is typically gentetic (in which case, can’t be avoided) and type I is completely unavoidable. There’s nothing I did to bring this on to myself. I’ve always worked out and maintained a healthy body weight and diet, I just happened to get type I. So make sure you realize what you’re saying.

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