The difference between Type1 and Type 2 diabetes


by Laura Rodriguez

MILWAUKEE -- After the sudden death of a West Allis toddler, the question about undiagnosed diabetes generated a lot of feedback. Several phone calls and e-mails streamed in to our station about a diabetes type that is greatly misunderstood, and sometimes goes undetected.

Parents with children who have Type-1 diabetes are part of a tight-knit community that works to create awareness about the difference between Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes. 

Our Laura Rodriguez met with 10-year-old Shannon Knowski who has Type-1 diabetes, and learned about her amazing story. Knowski was diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes at 11-months-old. Her mother took her to the doctor for what she thought was the flu, but turned out to be diabetes.

Shannon's blood sugar was almost seven times over the normal level, but doctors were able to get it under control. Shannon's mother Pat said, "I remember thinking how did she get Type 1? She's just a baby."

Type-1 diabetes cannot be prevented nor cured, it is an immune disorder. Dr. Shailendra Patel with the Medical College of Wisconsin says, "This is where your own body is attacking the insulin producing cells."

According to the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation website, while obesity has been identified as one of the triggers for Type-2 diabetes, obesity has no relation to the cause of Type-1. It is not known yet what causes T1D, however, eating too much sugar is not a factor. 

Symptoms Dr. Patel says parents should look for are increased amounts of urinations, increased water consumption, and unexplained weight loss. Dr. Patel recommends parents trust their gut, and ask for a blood sugar test if they feel something isn't right.

If you'd like to learn more about Type-1 diabetes symptoms, treatment and where you can get help, CLICK HERE.

More information on Type 1 Diabetes: and




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