Physician Explains Difference between Type 1, Type 2 Diabetes

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WESLACO – Diabetes is a disease that’s prevalent throughout the Rio Grande Valley. It can break down your body bit by bit, impacting your life and that of your family.

For the past two years, CHANNEL 5 NEWS has taken time to talk to you about diabetes and the lives it impacts.

This year we’re bringing new information in hopes of empowering you to make a change.

South Texas is considered to have the highest rate of diabetes cases than any other place in the country.

Dr. Monzer Yazji, president of RGV Diabetes Association, says he can attest to that.

“I’ve been practicing here for 24 years, and most of our patients – they walk here for other disease and they find they are diabetics,” he says.

He says sugary drinks, a poor diet and lack of exercise can increase your risk to get diabetes and other factors.

“If one of your family, parents, sister or sibling or whatever related to you has diabetes, you have high risk for it,” he explains.

“There are two types: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes is when the body doesn’t make enough insulin. People who have it need to get insulin in the form of an injection every day,” he says. “Type 2 diabetes is where your body is resistant to insulin. Oral medication and taking insulin will help your body metabolize the food you eat into sugar.”

Dr. Yazji says Type 1 diabetes develops in childhood but Type 2 can be prevented.

He says although Type 2 is associated with lifestyle choices, it also has a very strong genetic component to it.

The physician explains Type 2 can be reversed as long as you change your habits by eating healthy and exercising.

He says the following are some symptoms you should look out for:

  • For Type 1 diabetes, increase in thirst and urination
  • You’re eating more but losing weight
  • Tingling or pain in the hands and/or feet
  • 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 is a huge sign
  • Increase in thirst and weight loss

Dr. Yazji says you should consult your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms.

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CHANNEL 5 NEWS is dedicating two weeks of coverage to diabetes. Learn more on the Heart of the Valley page.