Difference between Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetes
How well are you aware of the intricacies of type 1 and type 2 diabetes?
While the conditions might be alike, the causes and treatment are entirely different for both. The major difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes is that, in the former a person’s body fails to produce insulin. Whereas, in the latter, the body does not respond to insulin normally.
Dive deeper into this article to find out more differences between the two!
Know about the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes
Around 422 million people across the world have diabetes. (Source: 1) So, what exactly is it? Our pancreas makes a hormone called insulin. With the help of insulin, our blood carries glucose throughout the body and provides it with energy.
In some people, the pancreas somehow fails to produce insulin, which results in increased blood glucose levels, causing diabetes.
There are mainly two types of diabetes:
1. Type 1
2. Type 2
Let us explain the difference between both the types through a table:
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes
This is an autoimmune reaction where a person’s immune system attacks his/her pancreatic cells, which produce insulin.
It happens when a person’s body becomes insulin resistant while still making insulin.
Can be caused due to genetics or environmental factors.
Is mainly caused due to genetics and lifestyle factors like obesity, reduced physical activity, etc.
Generally happens at a young age and lasts for a lifetime.
Often arises during adulthood and sometimes can be reversed through certain lifestyle changes.
What causes type 1 diabetes?
After knowing the difference between diabetes type 1 and 2, it is also essential to determine the causes that contribute to this disease.
As a matter of fact, the exact causes of type 1 diabetes are still unknown. However, it is considered to be an autoimmune disease likely caused by certain genetic or environmental factors, like viruses.
The disease afflicts a person when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks beta cells in the pancreas.
What causes type 2 diabetes?
Another primary difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes is that the causes for the latter are determined to some extent.
Experts argue that two interrelated problems cause type 2 diabetes:
- Cells in the fat, liver, and muscle become insulin resistant. Because of their inability to interact normally with the insulin, they cannot take in enough sugar.
- In such instances, the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin that is required to manage blood sugar levels.
Now, why the above-mentioned factors happen is unknown. However, obesity and lack of physical activity contribute majorly to these factors.
What are the symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes?
The symptoms of type 1 diabetes are:
- Excessive thirst and hunger
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
- Sudden weight loss
Moreover, a person may also develop ketoacidosis, which is yet another complication of diabetes. The symptoms of this complication are:
- Dry mouth and skin
- Rapid breathing
- Fruity breath odour
- Flushed face
- Stomach pain or vomiting
Individuals with ketoacidosis should seek emergency medical help upon experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms.
Furthermore, to properly understand the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, you must know the symptoms related to type 2 diabetes as well. Read on to find out:
- Slow-healing sores
- Increased thirst
- Increased hunger and frequent urination
- Sudden weight loss along with fatigue
- Numb feeling or tingling sensation on hands or feet
- Frequent infections
- Darkened skin areas, especially around the neck and armpits
Risk factors of diabetes type 1
The exact cause of this disease is unknown; however, certain factors contribute towards this malfunction:
Lack of insulin production
This is one of the primary causes of type 1 diabetes. It primarily occurs when insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are destroyed or damaged. This results in insulin deficiency, which leaves too much sugar in the blood and raises the blood sugar level.
Genetics and family history
Researchers believe genes play a crucial role in determining how likely a person is to develop diabetes. However, they don’t fully understand the cause. As per the American Diabetes Association, a person with a family history of diabetes is more likely to develop the disease.
Although these researches are not final, there are a few ethnic groups with a higher rate of developing this malfunction:
- African Americans
- Native Americans
- Hispanic Americans
- Native Islanders
Certain genetic conditions like cystic fibrosis and hemochromatosis can also damage the pancreas.
Risk factors of diabetes type 2
Factors that are associated with diabetes type 2 risk are:
This is a major difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In type 1, the pancreas fails to produce insulin. And, in type 2, the body cannot utilise the created insulin. This results in the pancreases creating more insulin to overcome the body’s resistance. With time, the cells eventually wear out.
As a result, the body slows insulin production and blood sugar level increases. This is also called prediabetes.
Note: A person with prediabetes will have a high blood sugar level, but not enough to get diagnosed.
Weight and fat distribution
Body fat, mainly in the abdomen area, can indicate a higher risk for this disease. Also, being overweight is another potential risk factor for having diabetes.
Since physical activity controls your weight, you are more likely to gain fat if you remain inactive. The more fat you gain, the more risk arrives your way.
Blood lipid levels
People with a low level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides are at a higher risk of developing this disease.
Pregnancy related risks
Mothers who developed gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Other risk factors for type 2 diabetes also includes:
- PCOD or PCOS
- Darkened skin areas on the neck or armpits
- Genes or family history
How is type 1 diabetes diagnosed?
To understand the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, you need to know how both of them are diagnosed. Type 1 diagnosis tests include:
- A1C (Glycated haemoglobin test) test: This test indicates the average blood sugar level in your body for the past two or three months.
- Random blood sugar test: In this, the blood sample is taken randomly and may be repeated if necessary.
- Fasting blood sugar test: In this test, blood sample is taken after overnight fasting.
How is type 2 diabetes diagnosed?
A doctor usually tests a patient for two consecutive days to confirm the results. This is done through the same method mentioned above for type 1 diabetes. However, there is a new addition:
- Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT): This test checks the blood glucose level in a person’s body before and 2 hours after drinking something sweet.
Treatment for type 1 diabetes
To understand what the difference is between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, make sure to find out how they are treated or managed.
One can manage type 1 diabetes by:
- Taking insulin shots
- Frequent monitoring of blood sugar levels
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy lifestyle
- Counting carbs, protein, and fat in food items
The ultimate goal for a type 1 diabetic person should be to keep the blood sugar level as close to the normal range as possible and avoid any serious complications.
Treatment for type 2 diabetes
One can manage type 2 diabetes by:
- Eating healthy
- Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy lifestyle
- Regular blood sugar monitoring
- Insulin shots, if necessary
Therefore, from the above-mentioned information, it is clear that there is a huge difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Proper knowledge about both these types and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help you prevent this disease.