Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

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Diabetes Mellitus (DM) commonly known as diabetes is one of the most common metabolic disorders diagnosed in people. It is said that around 29million people have been affected with diabetes in USA. The condition is characterized either by a reduced amount of insulin production or by the lack of response to insulin by the body cells. Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas and helps the body to properly utilize the glucose which is produced as a byproduct of the synthesis of carbohydrates. Insulin helps in the uptake of glucose by the cells thus regulating glucose levels in the blood. Constant higher levels of blood glucose higher than the normal value is diagnosed as diabetes.

Types of Diabetes: There are two types of diabetes type 1 and type 2diabetes. The following are the major differences between the two types of the health condition.

  • Type 1 diabetes is also known as insulin dependent diabetes (IDDM) and juvenile onset diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is also known as non insulin dependent diabetes and adult onset diabetes.
  • Type 1 diabetes is quite common during childhood or teenage while the incidence of type 2 increases with age.
  • People with Type 1 diabetes experience episodes of low blood sugar while there are no low blood sugar phases in type 2.
  • Type 1 diabetes is an auto immune disease where the immune system wrongly attacks and destroys the beta cells of the pancreas which are responsible for the production of insulin. This results in lesser amount of insulin and consequently higher blood glucose levels. In type 2 diabetes either the insulin production is lesser than normal or the body’s cells do not respond appropriately to insulin thus elevating the blood glucose levels.
  • The autoimmune condition of type 1 diabetes is triggered after viral infections such as measles or mumps. Type 2 diabetes is caused generally due to lifestyle changes, obesity, ageing and genetics. The condition often begins with insulin resistance or a condition in which the liver and muscle cells do not use the insulin adequately to transport the glucose in to the cells. To compensate for this the body keeps producing more insulin though the pancreas is not able to do so for long periods. The insulin produced reduces over time. Type 1 diabetes is triggered more in winter while low Vitamin D levels are also a reason for type 2 diabetes.
  • There are very less chances of type 1 diabetes from being prevented though type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented through lifestyle changes and healthy eating habits.
  • Type 1 diabetes is often managed using insulin injections to supply the insulin to the body as the beta cells are constantly attacked making it impossible for the pancreas to produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes can be managed with lifestyle modifications or with tablets.
  • People with type 1 diabetes often have high ketone levels in their blood while type 2 patients often have high blood pressure or cholesterol.

The risk of death subsequently increases in people with diabetes and are prone to mutilating condition such as blindness, kidney and heart diseases. The cases of diabetes being diagnosed is increasing at an alarming rate every year with sedentary lifestyle, dependence on junk food, obesity and other lifestyle problems aggravating the condition. It is always better to be safe than to be sorry. Lifestyle modifications such as reduction in weight and healthier food options would prevent the onset of the condition or would help in managing the condition better.

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