Difference between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

During past few decades Diabetes has affected human population like an epidemic. It is directly related to absence or irregularity of insulin hormone responsible for controlling blood sugar level. 90 to 95% diabetes patients are Type 2 patients. There are a few similarities and a lot of differences between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes.

What is Type 1 Diabetes ?
Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which our own immune system kills the beta cells in pancreas which produce insulin to control blood sugar. It causes total absence of insulin in blood stream and the patient has to depend on insulin injection or insulin pump. Mostly Type 1 Diabetes is diagnosed in childhood and remains life long. There is no prevention against this type of diabetes and no body known why our immune system targets the beta cells.

What is Type 2 Diabetes ?
Type 2 Diabetes is a disease created by incorrect lifestyle and unbalanced diet. In Type 2 diabetes our body develops insulin resistance, which means the same insulin produced before becomes less effective. It puts strain on beta cells in pancreas and their productivity of insulin is reduced with time, which makes the condition more worse.
Insulin Resistance: The reason behind Diabetes

Difference between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

  • Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease while Type 2 Diabetes is a lifestyle disorder.
  • Type 1 Diabetes is usually diagnosed in childhood while Type 2 is usually diagnosed after 30's.
  • Episodes of low blood sugar are normal in Type 1 Diabetes while low blood sugar is never detected in Type 2 under normal circumstances.
  • Type 1 diabetes can not be prevented as still there is no known reason behind it, while Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by a healthy lifestyle.
  • Type 2 diabetes is directly connected to excess body weight , while it is not so in Type 1 Diabetes.
  • Type 1 diabetes is usually treated with insulin injection or pumps. No such injections or pumps are used to treat Type 2 Diabetes, just diet control and simple medication is used to treat it. However in extreme cases insulin injection are used to treat type 2 diabetes.
  • Type 1 diabetes is caused due to insulin deficiency while Type 2 diabetes is caused due to insulin resistance.
  • Type 1 diabetes is rare compared to Type 2. Out of all diabetes patients Type 1 are just 5 to 10%.
  • Type 2 diabetes is sometimes due to heredity while there is no such connection in Type 1.


Similarities between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
Both types of diabetes can result in serious complications if not treated. These complications are blindness and kidney failure. Heart disease, stroke, and foot or leg amputations are other less common complications in both. All of these complications result due to high blood sugar for longer duration.

Assumption vs Reality

  • It is generally assumed that people with Type 1 Diabetes are underweight and people with Type 2 Diabetes are overweight, but this fact is not true in every case. Some Type 1 Diabetic patients can be overweight, while some Type 2 patients can be in normal weight range.
  • It is generally assumed that only type 1 patients need insulin injection, but the truth is that even type 2 patients may need it if they don't control their sugar through lifestyle and dietary changes.
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