Type 1 vs Type 2 Diabetes: What’s the Difference?

Diabetes can be categorized into diabetes type 1 and 2. There is a third type called gestational diabetes, but this section will be discussing what diabetes type 1 and 2 are about.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile or insulin-dependent diabetes, is initially diagnosed in children, teenagers, or young adults. This is described as a type where the immune system of the body (auto immunity) destroys the beta cells of the pancreas, resulting to the inability of the pancreas to produce insulin.

Type 2 Diabetes

The other type is called adult-onset or non insulin-dependent diabetes — otherwise known as Type 2 diabetes.

This is the most common type that can develop even as a young child. This form of diabetes is characterized by insulin-resistance. Insulin is not utilized properly by the fat, muscles and liver cells. As a result, the pancreas doubled up its effort to produce more insulin thus affecting the pancreas itself. The pancreas then fails to secrete enough insulin after meals.If a person is overweight and obese, and lives a sedentary lifestyle, then he surely will develop Type 2 diabetes.

Identifying Your Type of Diabetes

How do you know what kind of diabetes you have? It’s actually easy to identify diabetes types.

If you get the disease at a younger age usually before 25-30 years old, and you have no history of diabetes in the family, and you are not overweight, it’s most likely to be Type 1 diabetes.

If however, you are more than 45 years old and have relatives with diabetes or related diseases like hypertension, cardiac disorder, obesity and others, then you may have Type 2 diabetes. Overweight and sedentary activities will increase chances of having Type 2 diabetes.

Causes of Diabetes Type 1 and 2

Type 1 diabetes is considered as an autoimmune disease. This means that the body’s immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. People are affected by this disease if there is a predisposition to develop type 1 diabetes among the families. Sometimes, environmental factors, including common unavoidable viral infections, may also be a cause. In terms of ethnicity, type 1 diabetes commonly occurs to non-Hispanic, European, African American descents.

Type 2 diabetes is genetically related. It’s the classic saying “it runs in the family”. Genetic study identified the causes of type 2 diabetes. In addition, various risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes include high blood pressure, high blood triglyceride (fat) levels , gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds ,high-fat diet ,high alcohol intake, and sedentary lifestyle .

Diabetes Symptoms

Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes manifest symptoms that are observable to both diabetes types, including fatigue, weight loss, excessive thirst (polydipsia), excessive urination (polyuria), excessive eating (polyphagia), poor healing process, infections, altered mental state and blurry vision.

Knowing the symptoms of any disease will enable you to address it at the onset or prevent it from deteriorating. Diabetes is a lifestyle disease so a dramatic change into a person’s lifestyle can just be the key to control or manage it.

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