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Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes: How Are They Different?

By Guide Blogger
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Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes: What's the Difference? Ivelin Radkov/PhotoSpin

Diabetes is a metabolic disease that affects millions of people all over the world. It is the leading cause of blindness and kidney failure, according to WebMD.

Diabetes also contributes to a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, and foot or leg amputations due to persistently high levels of blood glucose (blood sugar).

Glucose provides your body with energy from the foods you eat. A naturally occurring hormone produced by the pancreas called insulin regulates the amount of blood glucose by moving sugar into the cells of your body.

Some diabetics do not produce any insulin, some do not produce enough. This means sugar stays in their bloodstream, raising blood sugar. For diabetics, having high or low blood sugars leads to the symptoms of diabetes.


There are two main types of diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes accounts for 5-10 percent of diabetics. Type 2 diabetes accounts for the other 90-95 percent, Medical News Today said.

These two types have differences in their causes, symptoms and management. There are also differences as to who is affected by each type.


Type 1 diabetics do not produce insulin. This condition cannot be prevented. Usually the onset occurs at a young age and the patient has inherited risk factors from both parents.

In type 1 diabetes, the body's immune system destroys the cells that release insulin. Without insulin, glucose cannot be used for energy.

In contrast, Type 2 is usually discovered in adulthood. Type 2 patients do not produce enough insulin, and their receptor cells have become less sensitive to insulin due to aging, inactive lifestyle and obesity.

Type 2 can be prevented or delayed by living an active lifestyle and maintaining a healthy weight.


Type 1 diabetes symptoms usually begin in childhood and patients become sick from the symptoms of high blood sugar.

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes include excessive thirst, increased urination, weight loss and fatigue. Nausea, vomiting and blurred vision may also occur.

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Diabetes Type 2

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