What’s the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes? An interesting yet critical question we should answer. Diabetes is common yet life-threatening health condition that everyone has to be aware of.
According to CDC, more than 29 million people in US have diabetes and the trend shows that more people are suffered now from time to year. Diabetes also known as diabetes mellitus is a particular condition of metabolic disorder where human body cannot store and use sugar properly.
It happens due to the fact that the body is no longer producing enough insulin. Insulin itself is an important property that functions to regulate blood sugar and use it as energy. It is produced by pancreas.
In serious conditions, diabetes is strongly linked to serious diseases including neurological condition, cardiovascular disease, vision loss, damage to organs and blood vessels and kidney disease. There are two types of diabetes, the type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Each type is unique and different as it has its own causes, risk factors and also lines of treatment. Once a person is diagnosed with diabetes, the doctor should tell which type of diabetes the person has so the patient can get the right treatment.
Facts on Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
Before we get on the detailed differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, learning some facts on these two different types of diabetes might be useful. The type 1 diabetes often comes as unpreventable and hereditary condition.
Type 2 diabetes is often not hereditary condition yet it is more common. With 1 people having type 1, there are 20 people having type 2 diabetes. The most common causes of type 2 diabetes include unhealthy diet increase, lack of exercise and excess weight.
Once a person is diagnosed with type 2, he/she often has to live with this condition in his/her lifetime. Despite some differences, both types also have similarity including the fact that the condition can lead to possible amputation of limbs, kidney damage, nerve damage, stroke and heart attack.
Causes of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
- In type 1 diabetes, a person is diagnosed to have the related condition when the body’s mistakenly immune system attacks the pancreatic beta cells responsible to produce insulin.
It destroys the cells and reduces the ability of the body to produce sufficient amount of insulin to regulate levels of blood glucose. In the end, the body is no longer producing insulin.
Therefore, the person having this diabetes requires supplemental insulin. It can happen to anyone in any ages including children, young adults and adults.
- In type 2 diabetes, the cause is a different to type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes cause is related to the facts that body’s cells become resistant to insulin’s effects.
If it is left untreated, the body stops insulin production causing the body to no longer have the ability to effectively use glucose.
This condition is often known as insulin resistance where calls become unresponsive or less responsive to insulin. It takes years for the symptoms to appear.
And once a person is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, he/she should use medications, change their diets and do regular exercise.
Risk Factors of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
Genetic factors play role in both types of diabetes. Scientist have discovered in type 1 diabetes that a certain number of genes linked to this health condition and happen to some people but not everyone. In type 2 diabetes on the other hand, the key role is related to family history.
More complicated risk factors play role in type 1 diabetes which are viral infections including rubella cytomegalovirus and mumps. Meanwhile, type 2 diabetes is highly related to genetic influence, bad diet, obesity, inactive lifestyle and aging.
According to some research, people having low vitamin D levels are more prone to both types of diabetes. This is because vitamin D has role to support insulin sensitivity and immune function.
Diet also plays key role in both types of diabetes. According to studies, people who started to drink cow’s milk at earlier age are more prone to type 1 diabetes. Therefore, doctors recommend women to breastfeed longer to reduce the risk. Type 2 diabetes on the other hand is more common in families struggling with obesity and having similar bad exercise and eating habits.
Development of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
With different cause and risk factors, both types of diabetes have different development stage.
- Type 1 diabetes is known as autoimmune disease because of how immune system mistakenly attacks the beta cells in pancreas. This type can develop at very early age like childhood with unknown cause. And, its development can be very fast that takes only few days or weeks.
Those with this diabetes type are required to inject insulin in their body in regular basis to compensate for non-existence of beta cells. Unlike type 2 diabetes, this type isn’t linked to excess body weight but to higher ketone levels.
- Type 2 diabetes on the other hand has different development stage. This type is caused by insulin resistance. Its development stage tends to be longer than type 1 diabetes such as in people who are more than 30 years old.
In fact, it can take years for the symptoms to appear and a person to be finally diagnosed with diabetes. This type is highly associated with high blood pressure, high cholesterol level and excess body weight.
In type 2 diabetes, insulin injection is required in regular basis because of two main reasons. The first reason is low sensitivity to insulin due to excess body weight. Injection is necessary to prevent hyperglycemia. The second reason is beta cell failure to regulate blood glucose level. So, insulin injection is required.
With those detailed differences on type 1 and type 2 diabetes, it’s clear to see that each type requires certain particular diabetes treatment and medications. Although both types cannot be cured but medications are necessary to control the condition so it doesn’t get worse.