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Hypoglycemia And Diabetes: What's The Difference?

Aug 17, 2007
When finding out information about diabetes, it is often easy to become confused on the issue of hypoglycemia. Sometimes you will hear the two words interchanged as though they mean exactly the same thing. If you are a sufferer of diabetes, then you should get it straight and make sure you know exactly what all of the terms mean. Here I will describe the distinction between diabetes and hypoglycemia, and hopefully you will finish with a deeper understanding of the medical problems. So read on to find out what the difference is.

Hypoglycemia, type 1 diabetes, and type 2 diabetes all deal with the same things: blood sugar and insulin. Hypoglycemia is when your pancreas produces excess amounts of insulin. As a result, blood sugar drops, and symptoms arise from this. These symptoms include confusion, sweatiness, and shakiness. Hypoglycemic side effects can be cured simply by having a sugary snack, but the excess insulin root problem cannot be cured as far as we know.

Type 1 diabetes is when your pancreas stops producing insulin, since the insulin-producing cells are being attacked by your own immune system. As a result, blood sugar rises, and symptoms come from this. Type 1 diabetes usually comes from genetic predisposition, and is onset by some environmental trigger. This trigger could be excess amounts of sugar, or any number of other things that are not fully understood. So, type 1 diabetes is essentially the opposite of hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is too much insulin, type 1 diabetes is too little.

Type 2 diabetes is caused by lack of exercise, as well as poor diets. It is when your body becomes resistant to insulin, and you cannot use it efficiently. This lack of insulin results in high blood sugars. This is the most common form of diabetes, and millions of people suffer from it (with millions more who do not realize that they have it). The effects of type 2 diabetes can sometimes be reversed through a severe lifestyle change, including a healthy diet and exercise.

So now you know about the 3 main diseases that mess with blood sugar and insulin. Since they all deal with the same things, they are often confused with each other. Type 2 and type 1 diabetes could be confused with each other, or with hypoglycemia. Now that you know what each of them is, you will be more likely to recognize one if it should occur.
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This diabetes education article brought to you by Diabetes Management Software - DiaMed by Chiron Data Systems
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