There are two types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. While both conditions involve high levels of blood glucose, there are several differences that separate the two conditions.
With type 1 diabetes, high levels of blood glucose result from beta cells in the pancreas not functioning properly. Normally, beta cells produce insulin, which moves glucose into the cells. The cells later use it for energy. But in patients with type 1 diabetes, the beta cells either produce no insulin or little insulin, resulting in glucose building up in the bloodstream.
While the cause of type 1 diabetes is not known, MedlinePlus noted that it is most likely an autoimmune disorder. Type 1 diabetes can be diagnosed at any time in a person’s life, though diagnosis is more common among children, adolescents or young adults.
With type 2 diabetes, patients have insulin resistance — their muscle cells, fat and liver don't respond to insulin correctly.