The Key Difference Between Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes

Difference Between Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes

Published on September 16th, 2022

In the United States, it is estimated that more than 37 million people have diabetes, including several million who are living with undiagnosed diabetes.

Diabetes is more common among older people, while prevalence rates between men and women are roughly the same. Despite having similar names, type 1 and 2 diabetes are different diseases with different causes.

If you are wondering what is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, this blog post is for you. Here, we will highlight the different causes, symptoms, and risk factors of both types of diabetes. Let’s get started.

Causes of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

The main difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes is that type 1, it is believed, is caused by autoimmune reactions and develops early in life, while type 2 is related to lifestyle factors and develops over the course of many years.

For type 1 diabetes, it is believed that sufferers’ immune systems mistake their healthy cells for foreign invaders.

The result is that the immune system destroys insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. As these cells are destroyed, the body is then unable to produce insulin.

In the case of type 2 diabetes, the body still produces insulin, though it is not able to effectively use it. Causes include carrying excess weight, being inactive, and genetic factors.

Risk Factors of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

The risk factors for type 1 diabetes are not entirely understood and are less clear than those for type 2. Some of the known risk factors for type 1 include age (it is most common among children and adolescents) and family history.

With regard to the last point, people whose parents or siblings have type 1 diabetes are at a greater risk of developing it themselves.

Some of the common risk factors of type 2 diabetes include:

  • Aged 45 or over
  • Are physically active less than three times a week
  • Have a lot of belly fat
  • Have prediabetes
  • Have an immediate family member with type 2 diabetes

Hispanic, American Indian, Black, and Alaska Natives are also at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This is due to structural inequities that contribute to health disparities.

Symptoms of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes, when not properly managed, can lead to a range of health symptoms. These include:

  • Feelings of hunger
  • Feelings of fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Blurry vision
  • Dry skin
  • More infections than usual
  • Feelings of thirst

Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

If you are living with diabetes, the good news is that it can be managed, including with diabetes medication and lifestyle changes. We recommend that you speak to a medical professional for more information on managing the condition.

Like this blog post on the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes? Be sure to check out our other informative articles on a wide range of interesting topics.

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Information provided by does in no way substitute for qualified medical opinion. Any text, videos or any other material provided by us should be considered as generic information only. Any health related information may vary from person to person, hence we advice you to consult specialists for more information.