What is the Difference Between Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes

What is the Difference Between Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes

Although type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus both have same identify that is high blood sugar level, the causes of two types and several characteristics are different.

When people talked about diabetes, mostly they make assumptions that not always clear.  Still a lot of confusion from the actuality that there are type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus, yet many people do not 100% understand how they are different.

For example, type 2 diabetes mellitus must happen in overweight people and insulin injected not needed.  These two assumptions are not 100% right, because many of diabetics are in normal body weight when diagnosed and several are insulin dependent like in type 1 diabetes mellitus.


Because it is often not easy to distinguish which type of diabetes someone has, it must need to implement specialised tests to recognize which type of diabetes someone has.  The specialised tests can suggest the right treatment for each type of diabetes mellitus.

Even though confusion surrounds a distinguish of diabetes type, there are common differences of each type.  Note that these characteristics are based on generalisations, there are exception evidences both in type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus.



People with type 1 diabetes, their body immune system attacks and destroys insulin making β-cells in their pancreas.  Their body can’t produce insulin to take sugar out of the blood stream, so they can’t auto regulate their blood sugar level.


People with type 2 diabetes can make insulin, but they either don’t make enough insulin or they have difficulty using insulin they make efficiently. Their receptor body cells become resistant (less sensitive) to the effects of insulin.

Afterward, the body stops producing enough insulin and no longer use glucose effectively.  This means the receptor body cells can’t take up glucose, so that glucose builds up in the blood.

If blood sugar is always high, the receptor body cells will be too exposed to insulin, this could become unresponsive to insulin.

People in the early stage of type 2 diabetes mellitus don’t need additional insulin, but as the disease progresses, this may be necessary to control blood glucose level.


Risk Factors Diagnosis

In type 1 diabetes, scientists have discovered a number of genes that are linked to the condition, developing the condition, but not everyone with these genetic factors develops it.

Also related from environmental and auto-immune factors, not traceable to a direct cause; occurring spontaneously; of unknown cause (idiopathic)

In type 2 diabetes, genetic influence linked to the condition (family history plays a key role), aging, obesity (central adipose), physical inactivity, high/low birth weight, GDM, poor placental growth, metabolic syndrome


Table of several differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus :

CategorizationType 1 DMType 2 DM
TerminologyDiabetes Mellitus Type 1, Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM), Juvenile DiabetesDiabetes Mellitus Type 2, Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus(NIDDM), Adult Onset Diabetes
It is recommended that the terms “insulin–dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM)” and “non–insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM)” no longer be used.
These terms have been confusing and frequently resulted in patients being classified on the basis of treatment rather than pathogenesis.
FactsDisorder of insulin hormone production as the β-cells in pancreas destroyed by the autoimmune antibodiesReceptor body cells become resistant to insulin hormone. Later the body stops producing enough insulin and no longer use glucose effectively. The receptor body cells can’t take up glucose, and glucose builds up in the blood.
CauseBelieved to be triggered autoimmune destruction of the β- cells; autoimmune attack may occur following viral infection such as rubella, cytomegalovirus (cmv). Other causes could be genetics and environmentAppears to be related to aging, lack of physical activities / life-style, insulin resistance, genetic influence, but mostly obesity
SymptomsIncreased thirst (polydipsia), increased urination (polyuria), constant hunger (polyphagia), weight loss, blurred vision and extreme tiredness, excretion of glucose into the urine (glycosuria)Feeling tired or ill, frequent urination especially at night (polyuria), unusual thirst, weight loss, blurred vision, frequent infections and slow wound healing, asymptomatic
Affected Age GroupOften diagnosed in children or teensUsually diagnosed in over 30 years old
/ adults / elderly
People are getting type 2 diabetes mellitus at increasingly younger ages and more adults are getting type 1 diabetes mellitus
Onset on SymptomsThe onset of type 1 diabetes tends to be sudden / acute / severe. If symptoms are present, the person should see a doctor as soon as possible.The onset of type 1 diabetes tends to be gradual / mild severe. A person with prediabetes and the early stages of type 2 will have no visible symptoms (insidious).
Insulin sensitivityNormalDecreased
Insulin dependencePermanentTemporary
DiagnosisFasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) Test, Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT), Glycated Haemoglobin Test (HbA1C)Random Blood Glucose Test, Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) Test, HbA1C, OGTT
Likely ethnic groups at riskAll ethnics (low in Asians)More common in African American, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian or Pacific Islanders
Estimated percentage of existing5% -10% of the 422 million of people affected by diabetes mellitus in 201490% - 95%-of the 422 million of people affected by diabetes mellitus in 2014
HealingNo cureNo cure for type 2 diabetes
Lifestyle treatment can result in lessening. Physical exercise, loss of weight & healthy diet are well considered
TreatmentInsulin Injections, dietary plan, regular check-up of glucose levels, daily exercise in order to prevent chronic complicationsDiet, exercise, weight loss, and in many cases medication. Sometimes insulin Injections may be used.

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