Home » What’s The Difference Between Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes?

What’s The Difference Between Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes?

by Janet Alizo

The main difference between type 1 and 2 diabetes is that type 2 diabetes is diet related and can be developed over time and type 1 diabetes is a genetic disorder.  It shows up at an early stage of life.

In type 2 diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin or the body’s cells do not use insulin properly (insulin resistance). As a result, sugar builds up in the blood. Over time, this can damage organs and blood vessels.

Type 1 diabetes, on the other hand, is the most severe form of diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce any insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body use sugar (glucose) for energy.  Insulin is produced in the pancreas and the pancreas is a small organ located behind the stomach.

How does diabetes affect the body?

This is how diabetes affects your body, diabetes is a chronic disease that affects the way your body regulates the sugar in your blood. think of it like trying to move your car after filling it with gas, in other to do that you need your key to start your car.

your blood sugar or glucose is the gas your body needs and for glucose to enter your blood cells you need a key; insulin is that key.

for people with type 2 diabetes, their antibodies fight the pancreas which in turn produces little or no insulin. this might seem like having a bad or broken key.

people with type 1 diabetes on the other hand do not produce insulin. this might seem like having the wrong key or not having the key at all.

in both types of diabetes, there is a high chance of coming down with high blood sugar levels and the risk of diabetes complications.

Causes of diabetes

type 1 and type 2 diabetes may seem alike but they are different with unique causes.

Causes of type 1 diabetes

Do you know how the body’s immune system is responsible for fighting off diseases such as viruses and bacteria? well. we can say it’s also responsible for the cause of type 1 diabetes.

think of it like your own immune system fighting and destroying healthy cells.  in the case of people with type 1, the immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas which makes it impossible for the body to produce insulin.

according to research, there is no definite reason as to why this happens. it might be a result of exposure or maybe it has something to do with genetics.

causes of type 2 diabetes.

type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance. in this type of diabetes, the body still produces insulin but cannot use it effectively.

when you develop type 2 diabetes, your pancreas will try to produce more insulin, but because your body can not use it, there is a lot of glucose accumulation in your bloodstream.

research is yet to prove why this happens but a lot of factors may contribute to this like being inactive, being overweight, genetics, and environmental factors.

What are the risk factors for type 1 and type 2 diabetes?

for type 1 diabetes the risk factors include;

  • genetics: Genetics is a primary risk factor for developing type 1 diabetes.
  • age: type 1 diabetes usually show up at an early stage. it is most common among children and adolescents.
  • family history: if you have any family member with type 1 diabetes, then there is a high chance that you might have it too.

for type 2 diabetes the risk factors include;

  • excess weight gain or obesity
  • having an elevated sugar level in the blood.
  • being physically inactive
  • have lots of belly fat
  • having a family member with type 2

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

The symptoms of diabetes can differ from person to person. However, some common symptoms of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are:

  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Urinating often, especially at night
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Having blurred vision
  • Itching or tingling around the mouth or feet
  • Slow healing cuts or sores

There might be a un unintentional weight loss, mood swings, and probably irritability amongst people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

In most cases, they may experience tingling in both their hand and feet, as well as numbness.

According to the American diabetes association, you reduce your chances of numbness and tingling by properly managing your glucose.

What are the complications of diabetes?

Diabetes can cause several serious health problems, including:

  • Heart disease and stroke
  • Kidney disease
  • blindness
  • nerve damage
  • amputation

People with diabetes also have an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer, such as pancreatic cancer. However, with proper treatment and care, many of these complications can be prevented.

How are type 1 and type 2 diabetes diagnosed?

the AC1 or glycated hemoglobin test is the primary test that is used to diagnose both type2 and type 1 diabetes.

this test determines the average amount of sugar in your blood within the past 3 months. the higher your sugar level over the past 3 months, the higher your AC1 level will be.

an AC1 test level of 6.5 and above indicates that you have diabetes

it is important to note that this test will not work properly for a sickle cell anemia patient. so it’s best to notify the doctor if you are, as a different test will be used.

treatment

at the moment there is no cure for people with type 1 diabetes. the Good news is that I can be controlled and managed by regularly injecting insulin into the body

while people might prefer to use insulin pumps for this, others might prefer the old traditional method of injecting insulin into the body through soft tissues such as the arm, and buttocks several times per day.

it is important to test your sugar level as sugar levels can go up and down quickly.

type 2 diabetes on the other hand can be managed and sometimes even reversed with exercise and diet alone. in most cases, your doctor might prescribe medication if diet and exercise don’t work effectively.

it’s also important to monitor your sugar level as it might be the only way to track your progress. An insulin injection might be recommended by your doctor if your sugar level is high.

How do you know if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes?

There is no definitive test to determine whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. However, some clues can help you determine which type of diabetes you have.

The symptoms of type 1 and 2 diabetes are a lot similar, but they present themselves in different ways.

People with type 2 diabetes, may not experience any symptoms initially, but may eventually experience symptoms slowly over time. in rare cases, they may never display any symptoms until complications arise.

people with type 1 diabetes on the other hand, usually experience symptoms quicker. this type of diabetes usually develops in childhood or adolescence.

Diet management for diabetes

learning how to manage your diet is an important part of your life if you are diabetic.

You must know what to eat and what not to when to eat them and in what proportion to do it.

it is also important you work with your doctor and come up with the perfect diet plan especially if you have type 1 diabetes which requires you to inject some amount of insulin after a certain type of meal (like carbohydrates which will increase your blood sugar levels. you will need to counteract by injecting insulin). your doctor will be in the best position to help you.

for type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, focusing on weight loss and having a healthy diet is one of the best ways to deal with it. your doctor might recommend a healthy low-carb meal plan

How to cope with type 1 or type 2 diabetes

as you already know, diabetes type 1 diabetes is more and can’t be prevented.

however, there are ways you can lower the risk when it comes to type 2 diabetes.

some the ways include;

eating healthy meals while avoiding high sugar intake and overly processed foods.

being active and exercising regularly

try not to be overweight

if you are overweight, then you need to consult your doctor to help you develop a healthy weight loss plan.

it is important to note that diabetes is not a death sentence. if you can able carefully monitor your blood sugar level, then you have a higher chance of preventing serious complications.

FAQs

Which is worse, type 1 or 2 diabetes?

There is no definitive answer to this question as the type of diabetes a person has can vary depending on several factors. However, overall, type 1 diabetes is considered to be more severe than type 2 diabetes as it requires daily insulin injections to survive.

Which diabetes is insulin-dependent?

Type 1 diabetes is insulin-dependent. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce any insulin and the pancreas is unable to produce insulin. As a result, people with type 1 diabetes must take insulin injections every day to survive.

What causes type 1 diabetes

There is no definitive answer to what causes type 1 diabetes. However, some possible causes of type 1 diabetes include:

Genetics– if someone in your family has type 1 diabetes, you are more likely to develop it yourself

Environmental factors– exposure to certain viruses or toxins may increase your risk of developing type 1 diabetes

Autoimmune disease– the body’s immune system may mistakenly attack the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, leading to type 1 diabetes

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