Type 1, Type 2 Diabetes Breakdown

Posted: Mar 27, 2017 08:11 PM Updated: Mar 27, 2017 08:11 PM

WESLACO - Diabetes is a destructive disease that can break down someone’s body bit by bit. It impacts their life and that of their family.

Thousands of people suffer from this metabolic disease. Experts said it comes, primarily, from genetics.

Jose Cerda is one of thousands of people in the Rio Grande Valley who suffers with the disease. He was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at the age of 18.

Cerda said sugary drinks were his go to until his body started to act up.

“There’s a fire, like burning fire in your stomach. Like a pain. I urinated a lot,” he said.

Cerda said he has to go for dialysis due to his chronic kidney disease. He blamed a lack of diet and exercise for the reason he got diabetes.

He said other family members had it too.

“My grandmother had diabetes. She was on dialysis for 17 years,” he said.

Cerda said his diet is much different than when he was a teen.

“(It’s) mainly chicken, lean beef, lean pork, and vegetables. I mean, I crave carbohydrates every now and then so I’ll eat some but I really had to cut back and no sugar whatsoever,” he explained.

Two types of diabetes exist: Type 1 is when your body doesn’t make enough insulin. Type 2 is when your body is resistant to insulin.

Dr. Stephan Ponder, endocrinologist at Baylor Scott and White Hospital in Central Texas, explained further about the two types of disease. He said Type 1 usually develops in childhood.

He added cases of Type 2 are a big concern, especially in South Texas.

“That’s very common in the Rio Grande Valley area. In fact, very common that it was first discovered down there to be the epidemic that it came to be, which we are now living in,” he said.

Dr. Ponder said people can try to prevent it.

“Type 2 diabetes is associated with being overweight, being resistance to insulin. Those things occur through becoming obese and you can argue – people will argue – those are the lifestyle issues and they can be treated at first through lifestyle issues… But even Type 2 diabetes has a very strong genetic component to it,” the physician said.

Cerda said he also wants to advise people in the possibility of getting the disease.

“Just watch your diet, and watch for the signs: frequent urination, headaches, constant thirst… that’s a huge sign,” he said.

Cerda added exercise can decrease your chances of getting diabetes.

Other symptoms of Type 1 diabetes include:

Increase in thirst and more frequent urination

Eating more but losing weight

Tingling sensation or pain in the hands or feet or both

Type 2 diabetes symptoms occur more slowly:

Increase in urination is a main symptom

Getting up two to three times to go to the bathroom

Anyone with these symptoms should go see their doctor right away. 

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CHANNEL 5 NEWS is dedicating two weeks of coverage and events to diabetes. As part of Heart of the Valley, there will be free screenings, live Q&A session with doctors and more. Learn more on the Heart of the Valley page.