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What Is The Difference Between Type 1 and 2 Diabetes?

By Dhwani Jerajani +2 more

Diabetes is a metabolic disease that is characterised by a high level of blood sugar because the body cannot process it efficiently. There are two kinds of diabetes- Type 1 and Type 2. Each is different from the other but the underlying fact is that they affect how the body processes glucose. If you are confused about which type you have, it is better to consult your doctor and undergo tests.

Both Type 1 and Type 2 are similar in the fact that they are both are chronic and cannot be cured. There are some common points of difference between the two kinds of Diabetes.


1.Time of Diagnosis

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in childhood while Type 2 is usually diagnosed after 30 years of age. There are a few exceptions wherein Type 1 diabetes gets diagnosed in adulthood.

2.Body Weight

Type 1 diabetes is not associated with the patient’s body weight as it is a genetic disorder. Type 2 diabetes is related to being overweight or obese. However, there are patients who are thin and have type 2.

3.Ketones or Cholesterol

Type 1 has high levels of Ketones during diagnosis while Type 2 is related to high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.


Type 1 diabetes is treated with insulin injections or the insulin pump whereas Type 2 diabetes is treated without medicines in the initial stages or with tablets.

5.Level of Disease Control

In type 1, the patient has to depend on insulin, no matter what. On the other hand, in Type 2, the patient has a possibility to reduce his dependence on medication and live holistically without much medical intervention.

The major difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes is that in type 1 there is insulin deficiency and in type 2 there is insulin resistance.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

6.Disease Development

Type 1 is an autoimmune disease. The immune system of the body attacks itself, mistaking its own body cells as antigens. The beta cells of the pancreas get attacked by it. They are responsible for producing insulin in the body. In Type 2 diabetes, the body becomes resistant to insulin and in a bid to balance things out, tries to produce more but cannot keep up with the demand.

7.Timeline of The Disease

While symptoms of Type 1 develop quickly. They typically manifest themselves over a matter of a few weeks. In Type 2, the symptoms take a long time to develop and many people do not discover the disease until they suffer a few complications.

Most individuals with type 1 or type 2 diabetes need more insulin during pregnancy, especially during the last one-third of pregnancy (approximately 26 to 40 weeks of pregnancy) because the body becomes resistant to insulin as the pregnancy progresses. Caution is advised when the diagnosis of diabetes happens during or before pregnancy.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D.

8.Age of Patients

People suffering from Type 1 are usually children and adolescents. Type 2 diabetics are usually older people.

The only way to stay safe when it comes to diabetes is to adopt a healthy lifestyle. While genetic factors cannot be controlled, we can take charge of our lifestyle. Eating healthy- less sugary, processed food and more natural, fresh food, exercising regularly, not stressing over things and maintaining a healthy weight go a long way in reducing the risks of developing diabetes.

9. Risk factors

Why some people develop Type 1 diabetes and others do not is unknown. It’s most likely due to a mix of genetics and environmental factors. You are more likely to get Type 1 diabetes if you  have a close relative who has it. However, there are several risk factors of type 2 diabetes. Middle aged people and senior citizens, and even those who suffer from obesity or high blood pressure are at an added risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Those who suffer from PCOS, exercise minimally, or even those belonging to ethnic backgrounds have a higher risk of having typ2 diabetes.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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Faith chelangat

Well explained….

Manav Sodhi

Thank you, glad you liked it.