There is a significant difference between type 2 diabetes vs type 1. Diabetes is a medical problem where the body is unable to utilize glucose.
In most people, the body has no problem maintaining the right level of blood sugar on its own. In non-diabetics, when the blood sugar rises above normal levels or goes lower than normal, the body releases hormones to lower or raise it back to normal levels.
To lower blood sugar, the body releases a hormone called insulin. Diabetes can afflict anyone of any age. It usually happens when the body does not properly use or produce insulin resulting in too much sugar in their blood.
In diabetics, there is a problem with insulin. If insulin is not present, or if its action is blocked, sugar remains in the body. The blood sugar level rises and the diabetic condition results. Both forms of diabetes have insulin problems, but the exact nature of the problem differs from type 1 to type 2.
What Causes Type 1 Diabetes?
With Type 1 diabetes the body either cannot produce insulin at all or is not capable of producing enough to work properly. The cells that produce insulin have been damaged or destroyed and cannot make enough insulin to regulate the blood sugar. This can be due to:
- An inherited vulnerability
- Acute injury to the beta cells
Injury to the beta cells stimulates the body’s immune system to attack these cells, damaging them severely or destroying them altogether.
There is virtually nothing that a person can do to prevent themselves from having type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes, How Does It Develop?
Type 2 diabetes is by far the more common form of diabetes; at least 90% of people with diabetes have this type. Usually, there is no defect in the production of insulin… there is not an insulin shortage.
Instead, there is a kind of block in the cell’s ability to utilize the insulin that is produced. This form of diabetes stems from an underlying condition called insulin resistance. Several factors contribute to the development of insulin resistance.
Methods for determining which type of diabetes you are dealing with, include:
- A medical history
- Family history
- A physical examination and
- Laboratory tests
In type 1 diabetes… the medical history might include:
- A problem pregnancy (in the mother)
- Early childhood diseases such as coxsackievirus, mumps or rubella
- Failure to thrive
- Weight loss
- Family history… might consist of having a parent with type 1 diabetes.
- A physical examination might show poor growth, weight loss or dehydration.
- Laboratory tests would be expected to show high blood sugar levels and low insulin levels.
Difference Between Type 2 Diabetes vs Type 1
To understand the different types of diabetes, it is important to understand how the body processes sugar. In general terms, when a person consumes carbohydrates, they are broken down into glucose that enters the bloodstream. The pancreas produces insulin and adds it to the bloodstream. The insulin facilitates getting the sugar into the individual cells so that the cells can then produce the energy they need.
With type 1 diabetes, it is necessary to take insulin injections. The insulin is injected into fatty places on the body. The insulin then enters the bloodstream and assists the glucose getting into the cells. Several types of insulin are used in combination to give the best coverage for what the person eats. Without insulin, a type 1 diabetic would die.
In type 2 diabetes, formerly called adult-onset diabetes, the person’s pancreas produces enough insulin, but the body is not able to use it properly. This is called insulin resistance. This creates the same high concentration of glucose in the bloodstream that type 1 diabetics have.
Type 2 diabetics have more options when it comes to treatment. Since the body is producing insulin, it may not be necessary to inject more. Type 2 diabetics can be treated only with diet and exercise.
The symptoms of diabetes type 1, caused by an autoimmune disease, develop over a short period although it is important to take note that the beta cell destruction had already begun years earlier.
An autoimmune disease occurs if a person’s immune system (the bodies system for fighting infection) turns against a part of the body. Diabetes type 1 is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes due to total or near total lack of insulin in the body.
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes develop gradually. About 95% of those who have diabetes are inflicted with this type 2, making it the most common form of diabetes.
It is mostly associated with those who have weight problems (obesity), older age (above 45 years), genetics (family history of diabetes), not enough exercise, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood levels of triglycerides, and certain ethnics groups.
According to American Diabetes Asociation more than 80% of those patients with diabetes type 2 are overweight. While diabetes type 1 afflicts those in childhood or adolescence, diabetes type 2 usually afflicts those more mature of age.
Complications were related to type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
1. Heart and Kidney Disease
Since people with diabetes produce little to no insulin (Type 1) or the body becomes resistant to the insulin produced (Type 2), glucose cannot be removed from the blood and transferred to the cells in the body by insulin.
The extreme accumulation of glucose in the blood can lead to damage of various organs in the body such as the heart and kidneys leading to heart and kidney disease.
Heart disease is probably the leading cause of death in diabetics. Kidneys may fail which could result in an inability of the kidneys to process waste leading to kidney disease. Kidney failure in person with diabetes will require dialysis or a kidney transplant.
2. Eye Problems
The excessive glucose in the blood can also damage the veins including the veins in the eye by causing them to bleed leading to eye problems including diabetes-related blindness.
3. Feet Problems
Excess glucose in the blood can lead to nerve damage especially in the feet leading to numbness in the feet which could require amputation.
Having diabetes that is not properly managed can accelerate the development of this condition which represents the clogging of the arteries which causes insufficient blood flow. This can lead to heart stroke, heart attack, eye disorders, kidney disease, and impotence gangrene. It could also result in death.
5. Diabetic Ketoacidosis
An abnormal condition that involves the burning of fatty deposits and not glucose for energy is known as ketosis which results in the production of ketones that is more than normal. Normally, ketones are broken down into water and carbon dioxide by various organs such as the liver.
When the body get forced to obtain energy by burning fat because glucose cannot be converted to energy in a diabetic, it can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis which is life threatening. This condition usually causes severe dehydration as well as diabetic coma.
Diabetics are especially susceptible to infection, and one of the complications of diabetes is gingivitis and gum disease that diabetics need to be careful about.
The most common form of diabetes, however, which is becoming a worldwide epidemic, is type 2 diabetes which is caused by an entirely different underlying pathology. Usually, insulin is not given on a regular basis to treat this type of diabetes.
Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes vs Type 1
Type 1 diabetes is insulin-dependent, meaning the treatment with insulin is necessary from the first time the disease diagnosed. The process is known as autoimmunity. It destroys insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. This leads eventually to a total loss of insulin production. Without insulin, the blood sugar levels rise relentlessly, and without insulin, the person will die.
Type 2 diabetes is often treated in the early stages by diet and exercise, though there is a trend for people to be treated with tablets straight after diagnosis. The mainstay of type 2 diabetes drug treatment in people both young and old is metformin. Misinform can be used across all age groups, as long as they don’t have kidney trouble. The drug reduces the level of glucose produced by the liver in the period between meals.
Generally speaking, there is nothing you can do to change your chance of getting type 1 diabetes. But type 2 diabetes is a different story; excess calories of any kind or just insufficient physical exercise and eating too much is clearly related to obesity. And if you have a genetic susceptibility to Type 2 diabetes, obesity will make you much more likely to develop it.