Differentiating type 1 and type 2 diabetes

diabetes mellitus
Diabetes word arranged in cloudy concept

Diabetes is condition in which the body glucose level will be elevated for a prolonged period of time. That is we can say that diabetes is a chronic and lifelong condition in which body does not effectively utilize glucose that serves as a key for energy production.

Diabetes is usually a group of metabolic disorders occurring together that impairs the processes that control protein, fats and carbohydrate metabolism.

There are many types of diabetes. In that, three types are common: type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. Apart from this we have some rare types of diabetes.

In common, body has a normal mechanism of glucose utilization in the body using a hormone called insulin. when it is disturbed, diabetes occurs.

differentiating type 1 and type 2 diabetes
what is the major difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes often begins in childhood, so it is called juvenile onset DM. It is insulin dependent diabetes that is, it does not produce insulin. It is an autoimmune condition in which body attacks its own cells using certain antibodies.


Genetics is one of the major factor that contribute to type 1 DM. Other cause may be a faulty beta cell in the pancreas (islets of Langerhans) due to autoimmune destruction. It results in inability to produce insulin.

It is also found that certain viral infection also triggers to produce toxins that cause damage to pancreatic cells.

Risk factors of type 1 diabetes

  • Family history: it has a familial history of occurrence. Siblings whose parents have type 1 DM are more prone to develop this disorder.
  • Age: type 1 DM usually occurs at the age of juvenile and adolescents.
  • Genetics: people with certain genes have a greater risk of developing type 1 DM. the tendency to destruct pancreatic beta cells is usually inherited.

It is impossible to prevent.


  1. It is managed by administration of insulin, to manage and maintain adequate blood levels. The amount of insulin may vary time to time depending on the physiological condition.
  2. Life style changes: Proper diet, exercise, meditation and moving forward with confidence is pretty much important to manage type 1 DM. Really! It works.


Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is often an acquired disorder often found in adults. So, it is called adult onset diabetes mellitus. In this the insulin produced does not work properly. It is not enough for the needs or they produces a condition called resistance. They body cells does not effectively sensitize insulin and result in hyperglycemia. It does not depend on the production of insulin and so, is also known as non -insulin dependent diabetes mellitus.

With time the number of beta cells also decreases. First, body secretes more insulin to overcome the resistance. The body fails to utilize this. As disease progresses, insulin production decreases and this leads to hyperglycemia.


Genetics is found to be a major factor that contributes to developing type 2 DM.

Sedentary lifestyle also aids to cause diabetes.


Risk factors.

  1. Incidence of prediabetes
  2. Lifestyle factors contribute to type 2 DM.
  • Obesity – It is said that the risk for developing diabetes doubles with an increase of 20% body weight than the desired.
  • Physical inactivity.
  1. Familial history
  2. Age: usually occurs after 30 years of age. Increasing age usually increases risk for developing diabetes.
  3. Gestational diabetes.
  4. Race: American – Indian, African – American or a Latin American.
  5. Polycystic ovary disease.



  1. Lifestyle modification – like intense physical activity, weight loss and balanced diet.
  2. Medication:
  • Sulfonyl urea: They stimulate beta cells to produce more insulin.
  • Biguanides: Decreases the glucose production by liver.
  • Meglitinides: Stimulate insulin production.
  • Thiazolidinediones: Decrease glucose production in liver and increases glucose action in muscle and fat tissues.
  • DPP-IV inhibitors: inhibits the breakdown of GLP by inhibiting dipeptidyl peptidase IV, a naturally occurring compound.
  • Alpha glucosidase inhibitor.it slows the breakdown of sugar and statches after eating.
  • Bile acid sequesterants: it act by lowering blood cholesterol and thus reducing blood sugar.



Diagnosis procedures of the different types of diabetes is usually same.

  • Fast blood sugar measurement
  • Random blood sugar measurement
  • HbA1c test
  • Oral glucose tolerance test
  • Antibody testing


Complications of diabetes

Sudden or acute complications

  1. Insufficient action of insulin or lack of insulin can lead to elevated blood sugar level. It can lead to a condition called hyperosmolar coma or diabetic ketoacidosis.
  2. Over action of insulin or medication can lead to a condition called

Chronic complications

Chronic complications usually damage nerves, neurons and small blood vessels that supply to eyes, kidneys and heart. It can lead to serious complications like diabetic retinopathy, diabetic nephropathy and diabetic neuropathy. Blood vessel damage accelerates atherosclerosis and it can lead to angina, stroke and claudication in lower extremities.

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