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What is the Difference between Adult and Juvenile Diabetes?

  • What is diabetes mellitus? The glucose or sugar that your body gets from eating carbohydrates is delivered to your bloodstream and then to the cells. Glucose is then converted to energy which enables us to live longer. As glucose enters the bloodstream, your body’s blood sugar (blood glucose) increases, thereby producing a hormone called insulin. This hormone can control your sugar level. If your body fails to produce insulin or produces little insulin, there will be too much blood in your blood. A high level of sugar in blood is a condition known as diabetes mellitus.

    There are two types of diabetes – the Type 1 diabetes or juvenile diabetes and the Type 2 diabetes, also known as adult diabetes. What are the characteristics of both? What are their distinct differences? We hope that this article will help you fully understand these two types of diabetes mellitus.

    Type 1 diabetes mellitus, also known as juvenile diabetes is simply the lack of insulin. Type 1 diabetes is also called insulin dependent diabetes. The pancreas is responsible in producing insulin. When your body’s immune system fails, the beta cells in the pancreas die, causing a stoppage in the production of insulin. If the body will not be supplied with insulin, it will eventually die. The only effective treatment for juvenile diabetes is the artificial introduction of insulin, like insulin shots. This type of diabetes usually starts out during childhood. Type 1 diabetes is common in very young babies and children. It is also called juvenile onset diabetes mellitus.

    Type 2 diabetes mellitus or adult onset diabetes mellitus (AODM) is also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes. As the name implies, it is usually diagnosed during adulthood. With this type of diabetes, there is a continuous production of insulin; however, it is less than the required amount for the body to remain healthy. Adult diabetes can be controlled with having a well-balanced diet, and other lifestyle changes like loosing weight.

    The causes of these two main types of diabetes are totally different. Adult diabetes can be prevented while juvenile diabetes cannot. Although there are cases when adult diabetes may also be genetic, it could also be a result of high blood pressure and obesity.

    If a child is suffering from juvenile diabetes, the child could just suddenly become weak and sick, usually accompanied by excessive fatigue and weight loss. There is increased urination. He would become extremely thirsty all the time, there is nausea and vomiting. He would also have severe abdominal pain. If this happens, it is important that the patient be given immediate medication.

    Adult diabetes is usually diagnosed without the presence of any symptoms.

    Their treatment is also very different. With adult diabetes a drastic lifestyle change could prevent the onset of the disease. Doctors usually tell patients to have a healthier lifestyle – like eating a balanced diet, regulation of sugar in food, increasing carbohydrate consumption, and committing to a regular exercise regimen. A healthy and active lifestyle could very well manage adult diabetes. Juvenile diabetes on the other hand is not that easy to manage. Regular insulin shots accompanied by a strict diet are necessary to manage type 1 diabetes.

    Diabetes mellitus may be a chronic disease but it can be controlled. All it takes is commitment from the patients as well as proper monitoring from their friends and family.

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