Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic condition caused by either insufficient insulin production by the pancreas or ineffective insulin utilization by the body. Blood sugar is controlled by the hormone insulin. One common consequence of untreated diabetes is hyperglycemia, often known as elevated blood glucose or elevated blood sugar, which over time causes significant harm to numerous bodily systems, including the blood vessels and neurons.

Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

There are several types of diabetes, but the most common are type 1 and type 2 diabetes. There are differences in the origins, onset of symptoms, and management of type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 or type 2 diabetes occurs when there is an excess of glucose (a form of sugar) in your blood due to an issue with the hormone insulin. Both disorders are dangerous and can result in serious health problems.

The primary difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes lies in their underlying cause:

Type 1 diabetes: It is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly assaults and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. As a result, the body is unable to produce insulin, which causes excessive blood sugar levels.

Type 2 diabetes: This is a metabolic illness defined by insulin resistance, where the body’s cells grow resistant to the actions of insulin. The pancreas initially generates additional insulin to compensate, but it eventually cannot keep up with the demand, resulting in high blood sugar levels.

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Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a form of autoimmune disease in which insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas are damaged, preventing the body from releasing enough insulin to properly regulate blood glucose levels.

Type 1 diabetes is also referred to as juvenile diabetes; however, this name is considered outdated because, while it is most typically diagnosed in children, the condition can develop at any age.

Type 1 diabetes is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes. Because type 1 diabetes causes insulin deficiency, daily insulin treatment by injection or insulin pump is required.

Causes of Type 1 Diabetes

  • Type 1 diabetes is characterized by an immune response flaw in which the immune system wrongly attacks and kills beta cells, the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.
  • As more insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are destroyed, the body’s ability to control blood glucose levels deteriorates, and diabetes symptoms arise.
  • Some persons have specific genes (traits passed down from parent to kid) that increase their risk of developing type 1 diabetes. Despite having the genes, many of them will not develop type 1 diabetes.
  • A trigger in the environment, like a virus, may potentially contribute to the development of type 1 diabetes. Diet and lifestyle habits do not cause type 1 diabetes.

Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes symptoms that should be taken seriously and treated promptly include:

  • Excessive thirst (Polydipsia)
  • Frequent urination (Polyuria)
  • Increased hunger (Polyphagia)
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Blurred vision
  • Irritability
  • Itching in the genital area

Type 1 Diabetes Management

  • Although there is currently no cure for type 1 diabetes, it can be treated with insulin and a healthy lifestyle.
  • To regulate your blood glucose levels with type 1 diabetes, you will need insulin replacement via an insulin delivery device such as an insulin pump or pen.
  • A nutritious diet and regular physical activity can also help control your blood glucose levels and enhance your overall health.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition in which your body is unable to effectively use insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. People with type 2 diabetes have either insufficient insulin production, insulin-resistant cells, or a mix of the two. When your body lacks insulin, your blood glucose (or blood sugar) levels rise.

Type 2 Diabetes
[Image source: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/type-2-diabetes]

Type 2 diabetes was previously classified as non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes since it primarily affects adults over the age of forty. However, type 2 diabetes is becoming increasingly widespread in young adults, teenagers, and children, accounting for nearly 90% of all diabetes occurrences globally.

Causes of Type 2 Diabetes

The causes of type 2 diabetes can be complex and linked. The following are some common factors that contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes:

  • Insulin resistance is the major cause of type 2 diabetes, which occurs when cells in the muscles, fat, and liver do not respond appropriately to insulin, resulting in high blood glucose levels.
  • Family history is a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance and the activity of insulin-producing pancreatic cells can be influenced by genetic factors.
  • Excess body fat, particularly visceral fat around organs such as the liver and pancreas.
  • A lack of regular physical activity
  • Eating a diet high in processed foods, refined carbs, sweets, and saturated fats
  • Women who have gestational diabetes during pregnancy are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), hypothyroidism, and Cushing syndrome can all lead to insulin resistance
  • Long-term corticosteroid use can cause insulin resistance and raise blood sugar levels, increasing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes may result in a variety of symptoms, such as:

  • Feeling extremely hungry or thirsty.
  • Frequent urination
  • Blurry vision.
  • Fatigue and weakness.
  • Irritability7
  • Slow-healing sores, wounds, and bruises
  • Pain, tingling, or numbness in your hands and feet
  • Unintentional Weight Loss
  • Dry skin

Type 2 Diabetes Management

If you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the goal of treatment is to reduce your blood sugar levels and keep them in a safe range. Treatments differ depending on the severity of your ailment, your lifestyle, and your overall health.

Some persons with type 2 diabetes take oral drugs to keep their blood sugar levels under control. Insulin injections are more typical for persons with type 1 diabetes, although your healthcare professional may recommend insulin injections if other therapies aren’t working for you.

Oral diabetic drugs: These are oral medications that help persons with T2D maintain their blood sugar levels while still producing insulin. There are numerous types. Metformin is the most usually prescribed drug.

  • GLP-1 and Dual GLP-1/GIP agonists: These are injectable drugs that primarily help persons with type 2 diabetes maintain their blood sugar levels. Some GLP-1 agonists can be used to treat obesity.
  • Insulin: Synthetic insulin directly reduces blood sugar levels. Insulin is classified into numerous categories, including long-acting and short-acting forms. You can administer it by syringes or pens, inhaled insulin, or an insulin pump.
  • Other medicines: You may take additional medications to treat comorbid diseases such as high blood pressure and cholesterol.

A heart-healthy diet can help manage diabetes. To maintain a healthy blood sugar level, eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and non- or low-fat dairy.

Regular exercise can help keep your blood sugar levels low. Walking, biking, and strength training are all good choices.

Obesity is connected with higher blood sugar levels. So, it may required sometimes to reduce weight.

Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Type 1 DiabetesType 2 Diabetes
CausesType 1 diabetes is distinguished by an immune response defect in which the immune system mistakenly attacks and kills beta cells, the pancreatic cells that create insulin.Type 2 diabetes is mostly caused by insulin resistance, which is a condition in which cells in the liver, muscles, and fat tissues do not react to insulin as they should, raising blood glucose levels.
SymptomsExcessive thirst (Polydipsia), Frequent urination (Polyuria), Increased hunger (Polyphagia), Unexplained weight loss, Fatigue and weakness, Blurred vision, Irritability, Itching in the genital areaFeeling extremely hungry or thirsty, Frequent urination, Blurry vision, Fatigue and weakness, Irritability, Slow-healing sores, wounds, and bruises, Pain, tingling, or numbness in your hands and feet, Unintentional Weight Loss, Dry skin
Risk FactorFamily History, Genetics, Autoimmune factors, Viral infections, environmental factorsObesity, Insulin resistance, family history, physical inactivity, age, hypertension, poor diet, gestational diabetes, smoking, high cholesterol level.
Age of onsetTypically diagnosed during adolescent or childhoodThough more frequent in adults, and high risk with growing ages, it can develop at any age.
PrevelanceLess common (around 5–10% of cases of diabetes)More prevalent (90–95% of cases of diabetes)
Diagnosis test-Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test
-Fasting plasma glucose (FPG)
-Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)
-Insulin and c-peptide levels.
-Random glucose test
-Antibody levels
-A1C test
-Fasting plasma glucose (FPG)
-Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)
-Random glucose test
ComplicationsHigh risk of diabetic ketoacidosis, hypoglycemia, and long-term consequences such retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathyIncreased risk of cardiovascular disease, neuropathy, nephropathy, retinopathy, and peripheral vascular disease
Treatment/ MedicationInsulin therapy, continuous blood glucose monitoringMetformin, Sulfonylureas, Acarbose, Miglitol, DPP-4 Inhibitors, SGLT2 Inhibitors, GLP-1 Receptor Agonists, Insulin, GLP-1 Receptor Agonists (Injectable)

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Jyoti Bashyal

Jyoti Bashyal, a graduate of the Central Department of Chemistry, is an avid explorer of the molecular realm. Fueled by her fascination with chemical reactions and natural compounds, she navigates her field's complexities with precision and passion. Outside the lab, Jyoti is dedicated to making science accessible to all. She aspires to deepen audiences' understanding of the wonders of various scientific subjects and their impact on the world by sharing them with a wide range of readers through her writing.

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