Understanding the Differences between Types 1 and 2 Diabetes

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes have different causes even though both ultimate result in problems with insulin. The differences can make a difference in your treatment and management of the disease. It is important to understand how type 1 and type 2 diabetes are different.

Type 1 vs. Type 2

Individual Causes

The causes for type 1 and 2 diabetes are not the same at all. Type 1 diabetes is the result of the destruction of special cells that produce insulin. Your own immune system is the reason these cells are targeted and destroyed. Type 2 diabetes occurs when your cells start to slowly develop a resistance to insulin. This means your cells stop naturally accepting insulin so that glucose is never processed out of your bloodstream.

Differences in Developing Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes generally occurs early in life and appears often in children. It can be the result of genetics. Type 1 diabetes cannot be avoided or prevented. It can occur in nearly anyone. Type 2 diabetes develops over time in children and adults. Obesity and other lifestyle choices can cause type 2 diabetes to appear. Type 2 diabetes is wholly preventable through diet, exercise and healthy lifestyle choices. It is even possible to roll back the development of the disease if action is taken when signs first start to appear.

Signs of the Disease

Type 1 diabetes has some pretty clear symptoms that appear in most people. These include unexpected weight loss, excessive thirst, extreme fatigue for no reason and abnormally frequent urination. You might also develop blurry vision and dark skin patches. Cuts and bruises sometimes start to take longer to heal. Type 2 diabetes has all the same symptoms although they do not always appear in pronounced ways. Many people with type 2 diabetes show no symptoms at all until the disease becomes very serious.

Managing Diabetes

Management is an effective way to control both types of diabetes in certain cases. This mean making changes to the way you live your life. You must usually start counting carbohydrates and avoiding simple carbs. You might have to time when you eat and check your blood sugar levels during the day. Exercise and drinking water will become necessary every day. Management plans can work for minor to moderate cases of both type 1 and 2 diabetes.

Treating Each Type of Diabetes Medically with Insulin

People with type 1 diabetes and advanced type 2 diabetes sometimes need insulin treatments. This involves taking injections of insulin during the day to regulate your blood glucose levels when you eat or experience a sudden hypoglycemic moment. Insulin injections can help dramatically and can free you up to live a normal life as long as you keep your injection kit close by or wear an insulin pump.