Understanding diabetes: find out the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes
If you or a loved one has been newly diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes, you may be wondering, “What is the Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?” Someone who is unfamiliar with diabetes may not think there is much to separate the two, but the conditions actually differ in several key aspects. Understanding the differences and the similarities between the types of diabetes is an essential step in gaining control of your condition.
Difference between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
What is the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes? It encompasses a number of factors including what causes the conditions, how they develop, and how they are managed. What is the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, below are some differences:
- Insulin production
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition where a person’s body attacks the pancreas with antibodies and damages its ability to produce insulin. Type 1 diabetes used to be known as ‘insulin-dependent diabetes’ because anyone diagnosed with it must take insulin in order to survive. With Type 2 diabetes, your body either does not produce enough insulin or is unable to use insulin properly, a condition known as insulin resistance. Initially, the pancreas increases insulin production to keep blood glucose levels steady, but over time, its ability to produce insulin may decrease.
Type 1 diabetes can cause episodes one key difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes symptoms is when they appear. Symptoms of Type 1 diabetes typically appear in childhood or early adulthood and can develop quickly, while Type 2 diabetes symptoms can develop slowly, and you may have Type 2 diabetes for years without realizing it. With type 1 diabetes, individuals typically discover they have the condition because they fall dangerously ill with high blood sugar symptoms.
- Risk factors
The primary risk factors for Type 1 diabetes are family history and genetics. While those are also risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, the main risk factors for type 2 diabetes are being overweight, fat distribution, inactivity, and prediabetes.
All individuals with Type 1 diabetes must take insulin to treat their condition, and find the right balance of medication, exercise, and nutrition to manage their condition. Some people with Type 2 diabetes will be able to control their condition through a combination of diet, exercise, and weight loss, but others will also need to take insulin to successfully manage their diabetes.
While there is no known way to prevent Type 1 diabetes, it is possible for individuals to prevent or even reverse Type 2 diabetes if they lose weight, change their eating habits, and embark on a regular exercise program.
Similarities between type 1 and type 2 diabetes
There are several similarities between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. They share some of the same symptoms, specifically increased thirst, frequent urination, unintended weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, and slow healing of sores. Some of the complications of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are also the same. Over time, the high blood sugar levels that result from both types of diabetes can cause heart and blood vessel disease and damage nerves, kidney, eye, feet, and damage.
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