What Exactly is the Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

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Need to Know About Diabetes

In 2018, approximately 34.2 million people had diabetes – that’s over 10% of the total population! And in order to lower the national rate of diabetes, it’s important to understand the condition, starting with the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes have different causes and symptoms. They also tend to affect different populations. Keep reading to learn the key differences between the types of diabetes.

Summary of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are chronic health conditions that affect the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar (glucose). Glucose moves into the cells of your body and stores energy. But before the glucose can move into the cells it needs insulin.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the body to allow glucose to help the body function. If you have type 1 diabetes, your body does not produce insulin. If you have type 2 diabetes your body does not produce enough insulin.

Both types of diabetes may cause high blood sugar levels which can cause health complications. The differences in types of diabetes also come down to causes, symptoms, and the populations affected. 

What is Type 1 Diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes used to be called juvenile diabetes because it usually affects children and adolescents under 18 years old. However, it is possible to develop type 1 diabetes at any age. The exact cause of type 1 diabetes in children and adults is unknown but there is likely a genetic and environmental component.

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes include:

  • Feeling usually thirsty
  • Frequent urination
  • Severe hunger
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Changes in mood
  • Fatigue/tiredness
  • Vision problems/blurry vision

Although there is no cure for type 1 diabetes, treatment involves managing blood sugar through diet and lifestyle changes. Without proper treatment, type 1 diabetes can lead to complications such as heart disease, skin conditions, and kidney damage. 

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is caused by insulin-resistant cells in the body. At the same time, the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to keep blood sugar at a healthy level. Children and adults can develop type 2 diabetes but it is more common in adults.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:

  • Feeling usually thirsty
  • Frequent urination
  • Severe hunger
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Changes in mood
  • Fatigue/tiredness
  • Vision problems/blurry vision
  • Frequent infection
  • Numbness/tingling of hands and feet

Living with type 2 diabetes means changes to diet, exercise, and other lifestyle choices. You can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes by eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly

The Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes – Explained

Now that you have a better understanding of the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes you can be an advocate for the millions of people struggling with diabetes. Promoting healthy habits and regular doctor’s visits is a great place to start.

If you are experiencing the symptoms above, talk to your doctor right away. If you have a family history of diabetes you may be at greater risk.

Looking for more health and fitness advice, information, and news? Check out the health and fitness section of our blog!

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