Ask the Diabetes Educator Archive
Can a person have type 1 and type 2 diabetes, if so how is this treated?
No, a person cannot have both Type I and Type 2 diabetes. Type I diabetes, by definition, means one is dependent on insulin injections for survival and that the pancreas is essentially worn out --no or minimal insulin is being produced. This describes about 15% of the diabetes population.
Type 2 diabetes, the more common type, denotes that the pancreas is still capable of producing insulin, but may need a rest and/or re-stimulation. Generally, there is resistance at the cellular level for insulin to perform its job of getting glucose out of the bloodstream. Changes in lifestyle are among the first forms of therapy for effective treatment. Some individuals are termed a "1.5" meaning that they are insulin-requiring and often present as type I's. These are people who may survive without insulin injections, but usually at the risk of high blood glucoses. A routine blood glucose screening would be the first recommendation for determining where yours fall. Fasting blood glucoses greater than 126 mg/dl denote diabetes.