Type 1 vs. Type 2 Diabetes

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Difference between Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is a well known group of metabolic diseases that affects millions of people world wide. In fact, official sources use 2007 U.S. data to state that 23.6 million American children and adults suffer from the disease and that 57 million people are pre-diabetic. It is caused by very low insulin levels in one’s body, resistance to insulin, no insulin production or a combination of factors. Insulin is a hormone which is normally produced by the pancreas works in the body to control blood sugar levels in one’s body by moving sugars out of the blood stream. In general, there are 2 types of diabetes – Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes is genetic and is usually diagnosed during childhood or at some point before the age of 40. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is much more common than the Type 1 and was once commonly known as ‘adult onset’ diabetes until cases in children became more prevalent.

Type 1 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes


The main difference between these types of diabetes is the fact that they are caused by different bodily dysfunctions. Type 1 the result of the pancreas producing a very small amount of insulin or none at all. In this case a virus or autoimmune disease is responsible for the body’s attack on the pancreas. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is caused by the pancreas’ inability to produce enough insulin. In this case, the body doesn't move sugars out of the blood stream very well due to strains on the body caused by physical inactivity or obesity.


Symptoms differ between type 1 and type 2. In type 1, some of the most common symptoms are feeling tired, feeling hungry, urinate more often, losing weight without trying and being very thirsty. With type 2 some of the most common symptoms are erectile dysfunction, blurred vision, frequent or low healing of infections and general fatigue.  


For type 1 diabetes the afflicted person is required to inject insulin under the skin which has the effect of lower blood sugar levels to normal. In type 2 diabetes, the best way to manage the symptoms is to engage in regular physical exercise and maintain a healthy diet avoiding specific foods which negatively affect insulin levels and the pancreas. The exact dietary formulas may differ because each person’s body reacts a bit differently to any number of foods. In general, a diet high in raw vegetables, fruits with low sugar content, low carbohydrates, low starch and low fat is recommended. What is eaten is just as important as when it is eaten. However, in some cases your personal health care provider may prescribe you some special medications that you will have to take and also insulin if required, but that is only when you have higher level of blood sugar levels in your body. 

Similarities and Differences

Some differences between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes include:

  • Type 1 is caused by the body producing low amounts or no insulin and the Type 2 causes the body to produce lower amounts of insulin or to reduce its effects on removing sugars from the bloodstream.
  • Symptoms common with Type 1 include an increased appetite, thirst and hunger.  Type 2 symptoms include blurred vision and frequent or slow healing of infections.
  • Treatment of both types is similar in that a similar diet should be followed, exercise is recommended and insulin shots may need to be self-administered daily. 

Which type of diabetes is most common?
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Type 2 Diabetes

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