Doctor Explains Difference Between 2 Types of Diabetes

Posted: Updated: Mar 28, 2016 07:49 PM

EDINBURG – Diabetes is a disease that puts a person at risk for heart disease, vascular disease and organ damage. The onset of diabetes can come in two different waves.

Dr. Mahesh Changlani is the chief of cardiovascular research at Doctor’s Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg. He’s been in practice for more than 20 years, spending the last two years in the Rio Grande Valley.

He said he’s never seen such a high level of heart disease in the Valley in young patients.

“What we see and observe here is that the Latino population, not only do we see a lot of heart disease, but they get heart attacks and blockages at a much younger age, we see in early 30’s because they had diabetes starting in their 20’s,” Dr. Changlani said.

With diabetes, sugar is the culprit, but it’s a food the body cannot do without. Dr. Changlani said the body utilizes it as a fuel. Sugar or glucose becomes a problem when it is not metabolized properly.

“The body synthesizes glucose from the carbohydrates that we eat. To be able to synthesize glucose, we need a hormone called insulin. It’s produced in a gland called the pancreas, the pancreas is an organ in the tummy, in the abdomen, just below the stomach and it produces insulin depending on the sugar levels,” Dr. Changlani said.

The cells in the body utilize the glucose, but insulin is needed to begin the process.  The insulin opens the cells so it can take in glucose. The issue in diabetes is there is no insulin or not enough insulin. Too much sugar in someone’s bloodstream leads to an increase of health risks.

There are two types of diabetes.

“In Type 1, the pancreas is attacked by the body’s immune system, can happen to anybody not very strongly genetic in origin, but the body doesn’t make insulin or hardly any insulin,” the doctor said.

The treatment for Type 1 diabetes patients is multiple shots of insulin through the day or an insulin pump which gives continuous insulin.

Type 2 diabetes shows up later in a person’s life. Dr. Changlani said the onset can be traced to genetics and lifestyle.

“Eighty percent of Type 2 diabetic, a majority of diabetics, 80 percent of them are obese,” he said. “Type 2 diabetes can be treated easily with pills or tablets, diet and exercise, later on in life a person may end up needing insulin.”

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