Diabetes mellitus, usually known as diabetes, is of various types including – Type 1, Type 2, Gestational diabetes and MODY. Of the total diabetic population, about 95-98% are affected by Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Therefore, it becomes crucial to talk about these two major types of diabetes. It is important to familiarise ourselves with the key differences between Type 1 versus Type 2.
This article outlines the major differences between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
What is Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes?
- Type 1 diabetes, formerly known as juvenile or insulin-dependent diabetes, is an autoimmune reaction by the body’s immune system which attacks the beta cells of the pancreas. These beta cells are responsible for the production of insulin, and thus an attack on them decreases insulin production and consequently increases blood glucose level. The auto-immune response could be triggered by various reasons.
- Type 2 diabetes, also known as adult-onset or non-insulin-dependent diabetes, is just an inefficiency in the insulin production system of the body. The produced insulin is not effective in bringing down the glucose level. The latter is known as insulin resistance, a condition in which the fat, muscle and liver cells do not respond well to insulin.
Difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes:
The primary difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes are:
|Type 1||Type 2|
|Demographics||Found in the age group <40, mostly in children.||Usually found in the age group > 45.
But children and young adults are also subject to this type in the recent past.
|Symptoms||Increased urination (polyuria), excessive thirst (polydipsia), increase in appetite, weight loss and fatigue.||Similar to those of Type 1 diabetes, but they appear much later than the onset of the condition. So they are difficult to detect.|
|Health complications||Damage to the blood vessels in the eye, nerves and kidney.
It also increases the risk of heart-related problems.
|Heart and blood vessel diseases, kidney disease, hearing impairment, eye damage, skin conditions, and slow healing.|
|Treatment||Intake of insulin subcutaneously, i.e. under the skin.
A balanced diet, daily exercise and regular monitoring of blood sugar levels
|Medication, reducing carbohydrate intake (carbohydrates are responsible for blood glucose level) and regular exercise. Insulin can also be prescribed in extreme cases.|
The number of people affected by diabetes has been acutely increasing despite the impressive technological developments in the medical industry. The global estimate of people with diabetes raised from 151 million in 2000 to 463 million in 2019.
People are often unable to understand the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Both types have similarities in the way they affect the body, but the causes, diagnosis and treatment of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are significantly different and it is important to understand these differences and choose the right remedies.
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