Dr Daphne Gardner, Consultant, Department of Endocrinology, SGH spoke about the differences between Type 1 and 2 diabetes.
PEOPLE AT RISK
Type 1 diabetes most commonly presents in childhood
and young adulthood. A family history puts a person at
a slightly higher risk. Type 2 diabetes tends to occur in
older people, above 40 years of age, especially those
who are obese.
TYPE 2 DIABETES MORE COMMON THAN TYPE 1
Over 90 per cent of the 400,000 diabetes cases here are
Type2, according to the 2010 national health survey.
TYPE 2 DIABETES CAN BE PREVENTED, BUT NOT TYPE 1
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system
attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in
the pancreas. Life-long insulin replacement is needed.
Type 2 diabetes is associated with weight gain or
obesity, leading to resistance to insulin. Long-term insulin replacement
is needed only in more severe cases.
“Maintaining a healthy weight through healthy
eating and regular physical activity can help prevent
Type 2 diabetes,” said Dr Daphne Gardner, a consultant
at the Singapore General Hospital's department of endocrinology.
ONSET OF SYMPTOMS
Both types of diabetes are marked by high glucose
levels in the blood. Symptoms include thirst and frequent
urination, weight loss, fatigue and recurrent
infections. Symptoms for Type 2 diabetes may not
show up until the glucose levels are very high. The
onset of symptoms for Type 1 diabetes can be abrupt,
sometimes happening over a matter of weeks.