What Is The Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease that prevents the body from utilizing glucose, or blood sugar, properly. This can be caused by either insulin resistance or the body being unable to produce insulin. There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. So, just what exactly is the difference between the two?

The main difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes is their exact cause. In type 1 diabetes, the body’s insulin producing cells have been killed. The body is left unable to produce insulin. In type 2 diabetes, however, the body’s cells don’t respond to insulin.

Today, we’ll go over the exact differences between both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, as well as the symptoms and how to handle both.

Type 1 Diabetes

First off, let’s go over type 1 diabetes. So what exactly is type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes, also called juvenile diabetes, is a disorder caused by the body being unable to produce insulin. Although the specific cause isn’t known, in type 1 diabetics, the immune system has DESTROYED the body’s insulin producing cells. This leaves the diabetic unable to produce insulin.

Without insulin, blood sugar builds up and remains high. This leads to the various symptoms and complications associated with diabetes.

So what are the symptoms of type 1 diabetes? How exactly is the condition treated?


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What Are The Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes have similar symptoms. Some symptoms include:

  • Feeling thirsty
  • Frequent urination
  • Feeling hungry
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Mood swings
  • Feeling tired and weak

How Is Type 1 Diabetes Treated?

There is no cure for type 1 diabetes, or other types of diabetes. Although the condition can’t be CURED, there are still treatments. For type 1 diabetics, the main way to treat their disorder is through insulin injections.

Type 1 diabetics have to take insulin, whether through a pump or injections, multiple times per day. This is to keep their blood sugar levels in a healthy range and to avoid any complications.

Alongside insulin injections, lifestyle changes can also help type 1 diabetics with their condition.

Type 2 Diabetes

The other main form of diabetes is type 2 diabetes. What sets it apart from type 1 diabetes?

Unlike type 1 diabetics, type 2 diabetics are able to produce insulin. Instead, in type 2 diabetes, the body’s cells are unable to UTILIZE insulin. This prevents glucose from getting into cells, keeping blood sugar high. Usually, insulin resistance is caused by lifestyle factors.

Let’s go over the symptoms of type 2 diabetes and how exactly the condition is treated.

What Are The Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes?

The symptoms between type 1 and type 2 diabetes are similar. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:

  • Feeling thirstier than usual
  • Frequent urination
  • Feeling hungry
  • Sudden weight loss

There are some symptoms specific to type 2 diabetes however. Some examples include:

  • Slower wound healing
  • More frequent infections
  • Numbness in hands or feet
  • Dark patches of skin, usually on the neck or armpits



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How Is Type 2 Diabetes Treated?

Unlike type 1 diabetics, most type 2 diabetics don’t have to take insulin. Instead, lifestyle changes are usually prescribed. Medication may be used however.

Things like being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight and eating a healthy diet, and avoiding stress can all help type 2 diabetics manage symptoms and avoid complications.


So what exactly IS the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?

The main difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes is their cause. They share similar symptoms, but are also treated differently.

Type 1 diabetes is caused by being unable to produce insulin and is an autoimmune disorder. Type 1 diabetics have to take insulin to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Type 2 diabetes is generally caused by an unhealthy lifestyle. Making lifestyle changes, like exercising and eating right, is key for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. In some instances though, type 2 diabetics also have to take medication.



Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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