Type 1 vs Type 2 Diabetes – What’s the Difference?

Although the conditions are increasingly common, many people find it hard to know the differences between type I and type II diabetes. If you are one of those people, this post is for you.

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While type I and type II diabetes have some similarities, there are many differences you should know. The two types of diabetes are chronic illnesses that impact how your body controls glucose or blood sugar. Glucose is a fuel that will feed your body cells, but it requires insulin to get into your body cells.

Patients with type I diabetes do not produce insulin, while patients with type II diabetes do not respond to the available insulin as they are supposed to. Here is what you should know.

Type I Diabetes

The primary difference between these two chronic diseases is that type I diabetes is a genetic disease that develops in earlier life. Type II diabetes is mainly a diet-related disorder that develops with time. If you have type I diabetes, your immune system will attack and destroy the insulin-generating cells in the pancreas.

Fortunately, modern diabetes treatment methods let patients with type I diabetes learn and manage the impacts of the disease and still lead an everyday life.

How to Treat Type I Diabetes

Monitor the blood sugar level: people with diabetes need to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Based on your doctor’s recommendation, you may need to check the level up to ten times a day.

  • Take insulin: since your body can’t produce its own insulin, you need to take it. There are numerous methods of taking insulin, such as injection or using a wearable insulin pump.
  • Eat a balanced diet: while you don’t need to be restrictive, you should watch your carb intake and make sure you eat them without going overboard. Keep your carb intake consistent if you are taking a fixed quantity of insulin.
  • Work out: exercising will help keep your blood sugar level in check and make the body utilize insulin more efficiently.

Symptoms of Type l

  • Increased thirst
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Frequent urination

Type II Diabetes

Typically, type II diabetes is brought on during adulthood by lifestyle factors. With this disorder, your body generates small amounts of insulin, but it is not effective. As a result, the pancreas cannot keep up with the higher blood sugar levels caused by a lack of exercise and poor diet.

Risk factors of type II diabetes

The risk of having type II diabetes is high if you eat meals that are low in fiber and high in carbs. Other risk factors include having high blood pressure or high cholesterol, not exercising, excessive alcohol consumption, and age. While genes plan a significant role in the risk of developing type II diabetes, you can prevent it with healthy lifestyle choices, unlike type I diabetes.

Treating Type II Diabetes

Unlike type I diabetes, patients with type 2 don’t always have to take insulin. This is because the body produces a small amount of the substance. Here is how to handle this disease:

  • Eating a balanced diet is one of the best diabetes treatment techniques. Eat lots of vegetables and fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains. Avoid high fat and high sugar foods.
  • Stay physically active by working out.
  • Monitor your blood sugar level frequently to stay updated on how the levels are doing and adjust your diet and activities.

Symptoms of Type II Diabetes

  • Excessive thirst
  • Itchy skin
  • Increased hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Frequent urination
  • Numbness or tingling in your feet and hands

Final Thoughts

Type I diabetes is a genetic disease that might show up early in life, while type II is developed over time due to lifestyle. In the two cases, the body doesn’t generate enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. If you are showing any signs, you can get diagnosed with diabetes disorder with an A1C screening. This will measure your blood sugar level for the previous 2 or 3 months.


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