Differences between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
When talking about diabetes, people generally do not distinguish between diabetes type 1 and diabetes type 2, although they are not the same disease. The main thing they have in common is the accumulation of glucose in the blood leading to all kinds of problems. So What is exactly the difference between the two?
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is found among only 5-10 % of people with diabetes. It usually affects children and adolescents up to the age of 20. It occurs when the body is unable to produce insulin, or only insufficient amounts. This means glucose is built up in the blood and cannot reach the body’s cells where it is used for energy. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. The body’s immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Type 1 diabetes is probably caused by genetics.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is more common than type 1. Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 occurs due to the body not being able to use insulin properly. This is either called insulin sensititivity or insulin resistance. So people with type 2 still produce insulin. One difference between the two types is that type 2 usually only occurs during adulthood. That said, there have been cases where children have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle is a big risk factor in diabetes type 2. Obesity, a poor diet and inactivity can very well lead to diabetes type 2.
Complications for type 1 and 2 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes share the problem of high levels of blood sugar. The inability to control blood sugar causes problems for both types of diabetes. These problems apply for type 1 as well as type 2 diabetes and may include fatigue, thirst, hunger and damage to nerves, blood vessels and organs.
Whether it’s type 1 or type 2, the most important thing is preventing complications. In this, monitoring blood glucose levels is key.