Type 1 Vs Type 2 Diabetes: What’s The Difference?

type 1 vs type 2 diabetes

In this article, we’ll discuss the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 Vs Type 2 Diabetes

There are 2 diabetes types: type 1 & type 2. Two types are chronic and affect glucose or blood sugar regulated by the body. Glucose is needed by the body cells to function and for the glucose to enter the cells insulin is needed. Insulin can rightly be called the key for the lock called glucose. 

People having type 1 diabetes do not produce insulin. This means these people don’t have the key. People suffering from type 2 diabetes do not react to insulin as they should. And in the later stages, they do not even make sufficient insulin.

This can be termed with an improper functioning key. Both diabetes types can pave the way to high glucose levels chronically. And this heightens diabetes complications risks. With this said let us first see the common symptoms of diabetes as there are different diabetes types. 


  • recurrent urination
  • very thirsty feeling and drinking lots of water
  • feeling constant hungry
  • high fatigued
  • blur vision
  • difficulty in healing sores and cuts

Type 1 diabetes people may even undergo mood swings, irritability, and unintentional weight loss. Type 2 diabetics may even have tingling and numbness in feet and hands.

Though most of the signs of type 1 and type 2 diabetes look alike, they represent in completely different ways. Most of the type 2 diabetics will not show symptoms for years together. Then the type 2 diabetics develop symptoms frequently as time lapses. Few type 2 diabetics don’t have symptoms altogether and do not even discover their situation until things get complicated.

Type 1 diabetes symptoms develop swiftly mostly within many weeks. Juvenile diabetes was what type 1 diabetes was earlier called and it develops either in childhood or adolescence however, it may also come in later stages of life.


Both the diseases though have the same names they are unique and have different causes. 

1. Type 1 Diabetes

The immunity system is in charge of fighting with invaders such as bacteria and viruses. In type 1 diabetics, the immunity system mistakes to take the body’s healthy cells as invaders. And as such, it attacks and kills the beta cells present in the pancreas which produce insulin. Once these cells are killed the body’s capacity to produce insulin gets decreased. Researchers even now aren’t aware of why the immune system attacks its cells. They believe probably environmental or genetic factors such as exposure to viruses could be the reason. 

2. Type 2 Diabetes

People suffering from type 2 diabetes will be resistant to insulin however, the insulin is produced by the body but it cannot be used effectively. Studies are not sure why few people are insulin resistant and while others are not. Probably excessive weight and lifestyle could be the factors.

Other genetic and environmental factors may also contribute. When you develop type 2 diabetes, the pancreas will aim to compensate by secreting additional insulin. Because the body is incapable to use insulin effectively, glucose will deposit in the bloodstream.

Risk Factors

1. Type 1 Diabetes

  • Family history: People with a parent or sibling with type 1 diabetes have high chances of being diabetics themselves. 
  • Age: Any age is good for type 1 diabetes but it is frequent amongst adolescents and children. 
  • Geography: The farther away you are from the equator the more are the chances of being type 1 diabetic. 
  • Genetics: few genes increase the risk of type 1 diabetes. 

Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented.

2. Type 2 Diabetes

  • have prediabetes (slightly increased blood sugar levels)
  • obesity or overweight 
  • an immediate family member is type 2 diabetic
  • aged over 45
  • physically inactive
  • gestational diabetes
  • birth to a baby weighing over 9 pounds
  • are Alaska Native, Hispanic or Latino American, African-American or American Indian
  • had polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • belly fat

Lifestyle Changes

It is possible to lessen the risk of being affected with type 2 diabetes with a few lifestyle changes:

  • Maintain proper weight.
  • Lower additional weight.
  • Increase activity levels.
  • Have a balanced diet.
  • Reduce sugar intake. 

Diagnosis & Treatment

The initial test for both the diabetes types is called the glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test. It is a blood test to determine the average blood sugar level for the last 2 or 3 months. An A1C level of 6.5 or higher connotes diabetes.

Treatment For Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes

There is no cure for type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetics do not produce insulin and so regular insulin injection into the body should be done. Few people administer injections into places like buttocks, arm, and stomach many times a day. Few others use insulin pumps which are small tubes. Testing sugar levels is a key part of managing type 1 diabetes as the glucose levels can go down and up frequently. 

Type 2 diabetes can be managed and reversed with proper exercise and a good diet. Lifestyle changes and doctor support too is needed so that insulin used effectively. Blood sugar monitoring is also essential for diabetes management as it is only meant to know if your daily targets are reached.

The best you can do is try your best to control diabetes.


1. Type 1 Diabetes

If you are type 1 diabetic ask your doctor to know how much insulin quantity is to be injected following the consumption of certain types of foods. For instance, carbohydrates produce more glucose and to counterattack this you need to know how much insulin is needed. 

2. Type 2 Diabetes

These type 2 diabetics need to concentrate on healthy eating. Losing weight is a common part of type 2 diabetes diet and a low-calorie plan is needed. Junk food and animal fats should be avoided. 

How Universal Is Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is more common than type 1. As per the National Diabetes Statistics Report 2017, there are 30.3 million diabetics in the US alone. Amongst them, 90-95% are type 2 diabetics.  

The percentage of diabetics gets increased with age. Lesser than 10% of the common public are diabetics whilst 65 and older are 25% diabetics. Less than 0.18% are diabetics in the age group below 18. Both genders have the same ratio of diabetics but few races are more prone to diabetes.