type 1 and type 2 diabetes

Researchers believe that almost all of the new diagnoses will be type 2, or adult-onset diabetes. This type of diabetes accounts for 90% to 95% of all cases and usually develops after age 40. Type 1 diabetes, caused by a severe deficiency of insulin, is more extreme and develops in childhood or adolescence. Patients with type 2 diabetes tend to be overweight as well as have high blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease, as compared with patients with type 1. High blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes is caused by an improper use of insulin or the inability to make enough insulin to metabolize glucose and control its levels in the blood.

Patients with type 1 diabetes need to take shots of insulin to control the disease. Patients with type 2 diabetes don’t always need drugs. Many can combat the disease with weight loss, exercise, and diet modification. When these methods don’t work, other measures such as insulin shots or other oral medications are required. The American Diabetes Association estimates that of all type 2 patients, 10% to 20% are treated with diet and exercise, 30% to 40% with oral drugs, and 30% to 40% with shots of insulin or insulin combined with oral drugs.

The debate continues as to the benefits of earlier detection of the disease. Many experts believe that doctors in the U.S. are not aggressive enough in treating diabetes while others are very wary about the long-term effects of many of the drugs used to treat patients with type 2 diabetes. However, most experts agree with the new guidelines but believe that health professionals should first focus on diet, exercise, and weight loss in their treatment of diabetes, reserving medications for those individuals who do not adequately respond to such modifications.

The new guidelines have been endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Diabetes is a common disease that is a major risk factor for heart attack, stroke, and other heart and blood vessel diseases. These complications can often be prevented or delayed if the diabetes is effectively treated. Therefore, these new guidelines are very important, as they have the potential to identify many more people as having diabetes and therefore in need of more active therapy

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