A double diabetic is a person who has symptoms of both type-1 and type-2 diabetes. Researchers say this could be a growing phenomenon. Studies have found that as many as one in three newly diagnosed childhood diabetics may be a double diabetic, according to EveryDayHealth.com.

Type-1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. It normally occurs in childhood or young adulthood. In this disease the beta cells in the pancreas, which produce insulin, are destroyed by the body’s own immune system. The hormone insulin is what helps the cells of the body convert sugar into insulin. However, without the beta cells no insulin is produced and sugar remains in the bloodstream. Type-1 diabetics must take insulin medically.

Type-2 diabetes usually has a much later onset. There are genetic factors which cause it, but poor diet, lack of exercise, and too much body fat contributes to the disease. The main underlying cause of this condition is believed to be insulin resistance. This occurs when cells stop reacting to the insulin. When this occurs, the pancreas has to produce more insulin to get them to react. Eventually, the pancreas produces no or little insulin at all.

Type-1 diabetics do not normally develop insulin resistance. A double diabetic is a type-1 diabetic who develops a resistance to the insulin that they are taking. A double diabetic may also be a type-1 diabetic who appears to have type-2 diabetes because they are overweight. However, blood tests can confirm it is type-1 diabetes when autoantibodies are found.


Double Diabetic Treatment


The main risk factor of a double diabetic is obesity. Almost all double diabetic patients are overweight. It is suspected double diabetics are type-1 diabetics who take insulin but make no other lifestyle changes. Insulin causes weight gain; so if a diabetic does not eat healthily and exercise regularly, then this weight gain could make the body’s cells insulin resistant.

The challenge of treating a double diabetic is that insulin stops working for them due to insulin resistance. Doctors usually prescribe a combination of insulin and oral medications to the patient. Also, especially high doses of insulin may be needed to keep blood sugar levels under control. The drug combinations may contribute to more weight gain, however. This causes a double diabetic to have more risk of heart disease than diabetics of type-1 and type-2 diabetes.

Insulin resistance can be lessened an even reversed though exercise and weight loss. Double diabetics should speak with their doctors to develop a healthy physical regiment and a proper diet. Your diet should be low in simple carbohydrates and fats. Fruits and vegetables that are not starchy and full of fiber should be central in your diet. Fiber from oats, whole grains, nuts are good for you as well.