Type 2 Diabetes versus Type 1 and How it Relates to Heart Disease, Blood Sugar, and Insulin

Type 2 Diabetes versus Type 1 and How it Relates to Heart Disease, Blood Sugar, and Insulin

Diabetes is a chronic disease that is growing at an epidemic rate. There are a few major types of diabetes; Type 1 (usually childhood onset), Type 2 (adult onset), and pre diabetic. “Diabetes is defined as the body experiencing a shortage of insulin or decreased ability to use insulin, causing blood glucose levels to be above normal. “[1] Type 1 diabetics are insulin dependent because their body no longer produces insulin and type 2 diabetics may need insulin or other pharmaceutical because they do not produce enough insulin and in most cases type 2 is reversible. “More than 95% of type 2 diabetes patients are aged 36 and up in Nevada.” [2]

Type 2 diabetes in most cases is reversible with diet and exercise, however, people with diabetes have medical expenses more than two times higher than those without. This can make things difficult with those that have a fixed or low income, but the benefits need to be weighed. Pay now to get health in check or pay later in hospital bills. “Diabetes and pre-diabetes cost an estimated $2.4 billion in Nevada each year.” [3] “The percentage of Las Vegas Type 2 diabetes patients with more than two comorbidities (42.2%) was higher than that of Reno (31.3%), Nevada (38.5%) and the nation (38.2%) in 2013.” [2]

Blood sugar and insulin are inversely proportional. Think of insulin and blood sugar on either side of a balance scale. By adding or subtracting on the scale, the two can both hover, even if they don’t weigh the same. Likewise, in your body, if the blood sugar goes up, the body releases insulin from the pancreas. Insulin moves sugar from the blood where it really does very little good, into your cells, which all use sugar for food. When blood sugar drops the body stops releasing insulin.

“Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects about 25.8 million people of the United States population and is a major cause of heart disease and stroke.” [2] That’s because people with diabetes (mostly type 2 diabetes) may have high blood pressure, bad cholesterol, obesity, lack of physical activity, poorly controlled blood sugar, and smoke and all contribute to the risk of developing heart disease. People with diabetes or pre-diabetes (insulin resistance) combined with one or more of these risk factors are at even greater risk of heart disease or stroke. However, by controlling risk factors, people with diabetes could avoid or delay the development of heart disease.

Diabetes and heart disease are silent killers and can easily go unnoticed until it is too late to take the appropriate action. Heart disease is so deadly because it causes few to no symptoms in its early stages. Adopting a healthy lifestyle and scheduling routine checkups can help prevent or catch these silent killers before it’s too late.

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References

  1. Managed Care Digest Series (2016). Nevada Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Report. Featuring Demographic, Charge, Utilization, Pharmacotherapy and Readmission Data.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National diabetes fact sheet: national estimates and general information on diabetes and prediabetes in the United States, 2011. 2011. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/pdf/ndfs_2011.pdf. Accessed November 4, 2013.
  3. Diabetes Prevalence: 2014 state diagnosed diabetes prevalence, cdc.gov/diabetes/data; 2012 state undiagnosed diabetes prevalence, Dall et al., ”The Economic Burden of Elevated Blood Glucose Levels in 2012”, Diabetes Care, December 2014, vol. 37.
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