Diabetes has occurred in people of all ages from childhood all the way to the later years of adulthood. Generally speaking, diabetes can be divided into type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Most of the time when a younger person develops diabetes it is usually type 1 and when an older person develops diabetes it is usually type 2. This theory fits into most cases of those who develop diabetes; however, there are the exceptions to the rules. Often times there will be cases of children who develop type 2 diabetes, or a young or even middle aged adult who develops a form of type 1 diabetes (LADA). So if there are no real boundaries separating age and type of diabetes, then is it possible for someone to develop both type 1 and type 2 diabetes? The answer to this question may surprise you.
Even though type 1 and type 2 diabetes fall under the same name, they are caused by two completely different mechanisms. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease which destroys the beta cells that are used to produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes is when a person’s body develops a form of resistance to the insulin being produced by the beta cells which can make your pancreas work harder. The one similarity between these two diseases is that they both revolve around the body’s failure to stabilize blood sugar levels.
So then the question comes up again, can a person develop both type 1 and type 2 diabetes?? Since type 1 and type 2 diabetes are two completely different diseases respectfully, then the answer to this question seems a bit more obvious. It is very probable that someone can develop both type 1 and type 2 diabetes in any order. This means that someone with type 1 diabetes can develop type 2 diabetes and someone with type 2 diabetes can in fact develop type 1 diabetes. The first case is a lot more common than the second, however it does happen and when this happens it can often be very hard to control.
The more common situation is when someone with type 1 diabetes develops type 2 diabetes in fact; many refer to this condition as double diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs based on genetic and environmental factors and there are usually no risk factors associated with it. Just like with any other person, if someone with type 1 diabetes is overweight, in active and does not maintain a healthy lifestyle, then there chances of developing type 2 diabetes increases just like the rest of the population as they get older. There have also been cases of young children with type 1 diabetes, also developing type 2 a few years later. Again this can be due to a poorly controlled diet or even hereditary factors!!
There have been cases of people with type 2 diabetes developing type 1 later on in life. Although it is not as common as what was previously mentioned, it still happens. A type of diabetes known as LADA or late autoimmune diabetes in adults is known as the new paradigm shift for people with type 2 diabetes. A study showed that around 30 percent of type 2 diabetics taking insulin have actually showed signs of autoimmune destruction of the beta cells. some scientist believe that either this autoimmune attack was triggered due to changes in the body from the insulin resistance or that this case of type 2 diabetes was in fact a late onset of type 1 diabetes that occurred at a slightly slower rate during adulthood.
Having both type 1 and type 2 diabetes is an unwanted reality that can happen to people who already suffer from either of these conditions. Talk to your doctor about potential changes that can be made to help decrease then chances of this from happening to you. Do you know anyone who was diagnosed with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes?? We would love to hear your story in the comments below!