Diabetes Supplies 101: Understanding Type I vs Type II Diabetes

About one in ten Americans are diabetic, that's roughly around 37 million people working every day to manage either type I or type 2 diabetes. The vast majority of those diagnosed with diabetes are diagnosed as Type II. While both types of diabetes have similar symptoms, the causes and treatments can be different. Those with either Type I or Type II diabetes struggle to make enough insulin or struggle to use it efficiently. Our bodies use insulin to regulate our blood sugar. Without the right level of insulin, too much blood sugar stays in your bloodstream and can cause serious health problems.  

What Causes Diabetes?

The exact cause of diabetes Type I and Type II are unknown. In both types of diabetes, sugar builds up in your bloodstream at excessively high levels causing several medical concerns. Our pancreas is responsible for producing the hormone insulin. Insulin helps blood sugar enter our cells that make up muscles and tissues, where it can be used for energy. It's also the brain's main source of fuel. 

Type I Diabetes Possible Causes 

  • Autoimmune component

    • Our immune system goes into overdrive and destroys the insulin-producing (islet) cells in the pancreas.

  • Genetics

  • Exposure to viruses and other environmental factors

Type II Diabetes Possible Causes 

  • Insulin resistance

  • Genetics

  • Overweight, obesity & inactivity

What Symptoms Do Diabetics Have?

Symptoms for diabetics are very similar regardless of what type they have. Some with type II diabetes may not experience symptoms at all while type I diabetics tend to have more severe symptoms.  

Type I & Type II Diabetic Symptoms

  • Tired/ weak

  • Irritable/ mood swings

  • Blurred vision

  • Slow-healing sores

  • Frequent infections ( gum, skin and vaginal)

  • Thirsty often

  • Urinating frequently

  • Unexpected weight loss

  • Ketones in the urine

    •  Ketones are a byproduct of the breakdown of muscle and fat that happens when there's not enough available insulin.

How Do You Treat Diabetes?

Picture of a young woman's hands holding a Glucometer

There are many treatment options and ways to manage diabetes available. Every individual’s diabetes is different and treatment will vary according to everyone’s unique needs. Managing blood sugar levels is the main goal for diabetes treatment. The way those levels are controlled depends on the type of diabetes the individual has been diagnosed with. One thing that all diabetics need to help manage their diabetes is support; support from friends, family & loved ones.

Type I Diabetic Treatments

  • Taking insulin daily

  • Counting carbohydrates, fats and protein

  • Monitoring blood sugar multiple times per day

  • Eating healthy foods

  • Exercising regularly and keeping a healthy weight

Type II Diabetic Treatments

  • Healthy eating
  • Regular exercise
  • Weight loss
  • Possibly, diabetes medication or insulin therapy
  • Blood sugar monitoring

Do Both Types of Diabetics Use Similar Supplies?

Many supplies needed for type I and type II diabetes are the same. Some of the supplies that will be different include your type of insulin and your method of receiving the insulin. There are four different types of insulin : short-acting, rapid-acting, intermediate- acting, long & ultra long- acting. Insulin can be received via injections or by an insulin pump. 

Typical Type I & Type II Diabetic Supplies Needed

  • Insulin

  • Insulin syringes & pens

  • Insulin pump (mostly Type 1)

  • Blood sugar meters

  • Finger lancets

  • Diabetic test strips

  • Glucose meter

  • Ketone test strips

  • Glucose tablets & glucagon

  • Oral diabetes medication

  • Snacks

Diabetics are tasked with carrying a large amount of supplies with them wherever they go to help manage their diabetes. Diabetic supplies can also take up a decent amount of space in bags. Without a good method for organizing and storing diabetic supplies, they can be hard to find in an emergency and are at risk for being damaged. 

Finding the right diabetic supply bag can ease some of the stresses of managing diabetes. Sugar Medical takes pride in providing a wide variety of diabetic supply bags to meet everyone’s unique needs. Whether you need a larger bag for travel with insulation for insulin, a smaller day bag with extra pockets or a special case for your omnipod, Sugar Medical has a large selection.

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