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What’s the Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?

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Diabetes affects millions of Americans today, but it can take different forms. You may often hear of someone saying that they have “Type 1 diabetes” or “Type 2 diabetes”. But what is the difference between the two types? Isn’t it all just diabetes?

The answer is yes and no. While both are forms of diabetes, each type has its own distinct characteristics. This means that treatment differs between the two.

Between five and ten percent of all diabetes sufferers have Type 1 diabetes. You may also hear people refer to this type as “juvenile-onset diabetes” or “insulin-dependent diabetes”. In this case, the body’s immune system attacks the cells that release insulin into your body. The immune system destroys these cells, and because of this, insulin production in the body is eliminated. Insulin aids the glucose (sugar) absorption into the blood, so if your body has no insulin, it cannot absorb sugar. Without this process, your body cannot produce energy. Generally speaking, people develop symptoms of Type 1 diabetes during their childhood or young adulthood. They suddenly become seriously ill as a result of sudden symptoms of high blood sugar. Type 1 sufferers are also prone to periods of low blood sugar, called “hypoglycemia”. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented – you are either born with it or you are not.

Type 2 diabetes is the more common ailment of the two – roughly ninety to ninety-five percent of all diabetes sufferers are afflicted with Type 2 diabetes.. This form of diabetes is also called “adult-onset diabetes” or “non-insulin-dependent diabetes”. In this case, the body resists the insulin it produces. It cannot properly respond to the insulin in the body. As you can expect, this also has serious adverse effects on your health. This resistance can be the result of increasing age, obesity, a genetic predisposition, or other factors. People can develop Type 2 diabetes at any age – it generally begins showing itself in adulthood, but there is an increasing number of children who are developing symptoms of Type 2 diabetes today. While certain diabetes medicines and treatments can result in a low blood sugar level, there are no episodes of hypoglycemia that occur naturally in a Type 2 diabetes sufferer. The good news is that Type 2 diabetes is preventable through a healthy lifestyle – eating sensibly and exercising regularly.

Both types of diabetes can greatly increase your risk of developing serious, life-threatening complications. Continuous monitoring and management of the disease can prevent most serious complications, but kidney failure and blindness can still develop for a diabetes sufferer. It also can cause heart disease, stroke, and amputations of the leg and foot.

The best thing you can do to prevent these complications is regular check-ups and examinations with your doctor. As long as you catch your diabetes early, you can diagnose and manage the complications, resulting in your ability to live a full, healthy life.

For more information on Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes, please visit The American Diabetes Association website at

Peter Geisheker is the CEO of the Independent Pharmacy Marketing Group. For more information on Diabetes and controlling high blood sugar visit

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Explanation Of The Difference Between Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes Diagnoses

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Diabetes is a disease that causes impairment of the pancreas in creating insulin. Most individuals know about Diabetes, but are not familiar with the two types of the condition. The difference between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes is not very well known.

Most people who suffered from Diabetes, before 1922, died of Diabetic complications. At that time, Charles Best and Sir Frederick Grant Banting discovered insulin and realized its importance in treating Diabetes. The pair of researchers could have become extremely wealthy if they had patented the insulin, but they decided instead to keep the costs down for those who needed it to save their lives. Because of their altruism, many diabetic individuals were able to extend their lives, when otherwise, their life expectancy would be much more limited.

Type 1 Diabetes causes an ability to make insulin, a hormone that manages glucose. When insulin is not present in the body the sugar is not made available to the cells of the organs, and there is damage as a result.

Some of the factors involved in Type 1 Diabetes, according to research, are the environment, the immune system, and in some cases, genetics. Examples of environmental effects are viruses. Other possibilities are autoimmune conditions which cause the body to turn against itself. In the case of Diabetes, the pancreas is attacked, and the result is impaired ability to distribute sugar effectively. Usually, this type of Diabetes is diagnoses before age 35.

Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes are: frequent urination, increased bed wetting, chronic tiredness, unexplained weight loss, excessive thirst, and excessive hunger.

In order to sustain and nourish bodily organs in Type 1 Diabetes, injections of insulin assist in moving sugar to them from the bloodstream.

As the first type of Diabetes, Type 2 is indicated by abnormality in the pancreas. Diabetes Mellitus is another name for the condition. In this type of Diabetes, insulin is manufactured, but is not able to move the sugar to the cells of organs. The result is high blood sugar, a dangerous condition. The normal onset of Type 2 Diabetes is in adulthood, but an alarming trend is the diagnosis of the condition in youth.

Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus are obesity, family history of the condition, and sedentary lifestyle. Type 2 shares some characteristics of Type 1, but has added symptoms such as Acanthosis Nigricans, which are permanently dark, thick skin folds in the neck area. Vaginitis and infections on the skin and urinary tract are other associated conditions.

Treatment of the disease involves changes in diet, exercise, and medication, but not necessarily insulin injection. Only when other interventions are not effective is insulin prescribed. Even with effective intervention, Diabetes can not be cured. If left untreated, it can result in heart disease, kidney failure, impotence, blindness, and coma.

Diabetes, although not curable, is treatable. When there is an absence of insulin produced by the pancreas, or when the insulin is ineffective at moving the glucose from the bloodstream to the organs. Those two conditions describe the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. If not monitored and treated, they can cause serious illness and even death. However, thanks to the discovery of insulin by two altruistic scientists, people can lead normal lives with only slight modifications.

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, then you need a blood sugar levels chart . The blood sugar chart can be found on our website and it is easy to read and understand.

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What Are The Differences Between Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes?

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Diabetes mellitus is a group of disorders, which are indicated by the lower production of insulin. But, these types of diabetes are very different. Type 1 diabetes demonstrates a dramatic weight loss. Type 2 diabetes is a hard-to-diagnose silent killer. So, how do you differentiate between these different types of diabetes? Let’s start with the similarities.


Different diabetes types are easily confused due to the following similarities.

* Some of the symptoms of these types of diabetes are same. Excessive urination, hunger, thirst, fatigue, weakness and nausea are some common symptoms.

* These types of diabetes can lead to similar health complications. i.e. heart disease, kidney failure, amputation, blindness, neuropathy, high blood pressure and more.

* Type 1 and type 2 diabetes has same diagnostic tests.

But the differences are far more crucial, to get misled. So, here is a quick preview of the differences.

Metabolic differences:

Since diabetes is a metabolic disorder, let’s understand it from the purview of metabolism. In different types of diabetes, the body perceives a shortage of insulin. But type 1 and type 2 diabetes are actually different at insulin production level. Type 1 diabetes is caused because the body stops the complete production of insulin in the pancreas. This can happen due to autoimmune disease. Your body’s own immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-releasing cells. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hands, has sufficient production of insulin. But, a body isn’t able to use it well. In simple words, the body has grown insensitive or immune to the insulin in the body in this type of diabetes.

Practical level differences:

On the practical level, there are several differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Let’s explore them in this section.

* Type 1 is extremely rare whilst type 2 diabetes is very common.

* Though, type 1 diabetes leads to significant weight loss, type 2 diabetes can be caused by obesity and leads to more weight gain.

* Treatment for different diabetes types is drastically different. Since, you do not have enough insulin in body; type 1 diabetes cannot be controlled without insulin injections. But, type 2 diabetes can be easily treated by drug therapy. You can use the medication to increase the sensitivity towards insulin. In few cases, people can control this type of diabetes with proper nutrition and exercise. However, it won’t be the case with type 1 diabetes. This type of diabetes is completely incurable. You will need to take insulin pump or injection for the rest of your life.

* Type 1 diabetes is often diagnosed in children aging from 4 to 14 years. Type 2 diabetes is commonly diagnosed in adults over the age of 30 years. However, there are rising number of cases where several children are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Gather more information about this ailment to understand and fight it better. All the best!

Mrudula KS is a certified diabetes educator, who counsels diabetes patients and their families and also designs diet for diabetes patients specifically. But, she also has a keen passion for writing. So, she combined his professional knowledge and writing articles about different types of diabetes like type 1 & 2 diabetes to help people live an active life with diabetes.