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  • Writer's pictureDr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam

What is the Difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes?


Diabetes is a condition that affects how your body uses sugar (glucose) for energy. Normally, your pancreas makes a hormone called insulin that helps glucose enter your cells. But in diabetes, either your pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin, or your cells don’t respond well to insulin, or both. This causes high blood sugar levels, which can lead to serious health problems.


There are different types of diabetes, and the two most common ones are Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. They have some similarities, but also some important differences.


Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when your immune system attacks and destroys the cells in your pancreas that make insulin. This causes a sudden and severe lack of insulin, and people with Type 1 diabetes need to take insulin shots every day to survive.


Type 1 diabetes is also known as autoimmune diabetes, because it involves an autoimmune reaction (the body attacks itself by mistake). This reaction can happen at any age, but it usually starts in childhood or young adulthood. It is less common than Type 2 diabetes, which usually develops in adulthood and is more related to lifestyle factors such as obesity or family history.


Type 2 diabetes develops when your body doesn’t make enough insulin and/or your body’s cells don’t respond normally to the insulin (insulin resistance). This causes high blood sugar levels, which can be managed with lifestyle changes and oral medications. Sometimes, people with Type 2 diabetes also need to take insulin shots.


Type 2 diabetes is also known as adult-onset diabetes or non-insulin-dependent diabetes, because it usually starts in adulthood and does not always require insulin treatment. It is more common than Type 1 diabetes, and it affects about 90% of people with diabetes.


The main difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes is the cause of the disease. In Type 1 diabetes, the cause is an autoimmune attack on the pancreas that destroys its ability to make insulin. In Type 2 diabetes, the cause is a combination of genetic and environmental factors that affect the production and action of insulin.


Another difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes is the onset and progression of the disease. In Type 1 diabetes, the onset is usually sudden and severe, and the symptoms can appear quickly. In Type 2 diabetes, the onset is usually gradual and mild, and the symptoms can be unnoticed for a long time.


A third difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes is the treatment and management of the disease. In Type 1 diabetes, the treatment is mainly based on taking insulin shots every day to replace the missing hormone. In Type 2 diabetes, the treatment is mainly based on making lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, losing weight if needed, and quitting smoking. Oral medications may also be used to lower blood sugar levels. Insulin shots may be added if oral medications are not enough.


Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can cause serious complications if not controlled well. These complications include heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, nerve damage, eye damage, or foot problems. Taking care of your diabetes can help you prevent or delay these complications.


If you have diabetes or think you might have it, you should see your doctor as soon as possible and get your blood sugar tested. Your doctor will diagnose your type of diabetes based on your symptoms, medical history, physical examination, blood tests, and other tests if needed.


Your doctor will also prescribe a treatment plan that suits your needs and goals. You will need to follow this plan closely and monitor your blood sugar levels regularly. You will also need to get regular health checkups and tests to check for any complications or changes in your condition.

You can live a long and healthy life with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes if you work closely with your doctor and follow their advice.


Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)

Internal Medicine Specialist


Kify Hospital

Danavaipeta

Rajahmundry

Phone : 85000 23456

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