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Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes | Med-Health.net

Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

There are two main types of diabetes, a medical condition that is characterized by high blood sugar levels. Although both types involve the body's inability to control blood sugar which is responsible for symptoms and complications of both types of diabetes, there are marked differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. More than 25 million people in the US are suffering from diabetes, and 95% people are affected by type 2 diabetes. Below are more you need to know about the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

What Are Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?

In general, type 1 diabetes is marked by a complete lack of insulin, while type 2 diabetes is characterized by having too little insulin or inability to use it effectively.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is formerly known as juvenile-onset diabetes since it is often diagnosed during childhood. It accounts for 5-10% of people diagnosed with diabetes. It is also called insulin-dependent diabetes because its treatment depends on insulin. People with type 1 diabetes are not able to produce insulin because their immune system destroys cells that produce and release insulin. This leads to failure in absorbing glucose (sugar) from food into the cells, thus raising blood sugar levels.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is formerly known as adult-onset diabetes since it is usually diagnosed in people who are over 30 years old. But it develops in younger people dramatically fast in recent years. It is the more common type of diabetes, accounting for up to 95% of patients. It is also called non–insulin-dependent diabetes because the body produces insulin, but it cannot use it effectively. This condition is known as insulin resistance, and as it worsens, the organ producing insulin (the pancreas) makes less insulin, leading to insulin deficiency.

Causes of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Are Different 

1. Causes of Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is often associated with a genetic defect that may be passed on in the family. However, other risk factors must be considered because many people who have a family history of type 1 diabetes do not develop the disease. Enteric virus is one of the other risk factors. Although there are more researches needed to be done, some scientists believe that children with an enteric virus are almost six times more likely to develop type 1 diabetes.

2. Causes of Type 2 Diabetes

Genetic factors are also important in acquiring diabetes type 2, but studies show that lifestyle and environmental triggers play a more significant role. Consuming a diet that is high in sugar and fat but low in fiber or having a sedentary lifestyle is strongly linked to the development of type 2 diabetes. Studies show that the greatest risk factor for this type of diabetes is obesity and it may be prevented by maintaining a healthy weight.

Risk Factors of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Are Different 

1. Risk Factors of Type 1 Diabetes

  • Ethnicity. Caucasians are more likely to develop type 1 diabetes.
  • Climate. More common in places with cold climates.
  • Childhood diet. Less common in breastfed children and in those who are fed solid foods at later ages.
  • Autoantibodies. Presence of specific autoantibodies in the blood is associated with the disease.
  • Respiratory infection. It may offer protection against type 1 diabetes when it occurs before the age of 1 year.

2. Risk Factors of Type 2 Diabetes

  • Ethnicity. More common among African Americans, Pima Indians and Hispanics.
  • Geography. Less common in non-westernized countries.

Are Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Different in Symptoms?

Type 1 diabetes appears to develop suddenly, while type 2 diabetes usually begins with no symptoms and is often diagnosed when taking routine blood tests. However, different individual may experience symptoms in different ways. The chart below will show you the symptoms of each type of diabetes, and you can tell there’re only a few differences.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes

Increased thirst

Increased frequency of urination

Extreme hunger

Unexplained weight loss

Blurred of vision

Nausea, vomiting

Fatigue or extreme weakness

Irritability, mood changes

Flu-like symptoms in children

Bedwetting in young children

Increased thirst

Increased frequency of urination

Extreme hunger

Unexplained weight loss

Blurred of vision

Nausea, vomiting

Fatigue or extreme weakness

Irritability, mood changes

Frequent infections

Dry and itchy skin

Tingling or numbness in the hands and feet

Many people do not know they have diabetes. Symptoms may be unnoticeable and confused with signs of normal aging. They may also resemble other conditions which need proper evaluation and diagnosis.

Are Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Different in Treatment and Prevention?

Category

Type 1 Diabetes 

Type 2 Diabetes 

Treatment

There is no cure for this disease, but treatments may help control blood sugar levels. These consist of insulin injections, oral medications, a dietary plan and regular exercise. Blood sugar levels as well as blood pressure and cholesterol levels must be monitored regularly and controlled to normal levels.

There is no cure for the disease, but certain treatments such as gastric surgery, medications and lifestyle modification can lead to remission. Weight loss, physical activity and diet control are important. Medications may consist of oral medications and sometimes insulin injections. Self-monitoring of blood sugar levels, controlling of blood pressure and monitoring of blood cholesterol are advised.

Prevention

It cannot be prevented because the pancreas of the patient does not produce insulin which is a life-long situation.

It may be prevented and delayed by consuming a healthy diet and getting enough exercise.

Watch this video to learn more about the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes: