What are the Differences in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?

Differences in Type 1 and Type 2 DiabetesWhat are the Differences in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?

When we think of a diabetic person, we always envision them as overweight or obese, since obesity is one of the leading causes of diabetes. However, did you know that a thin person can also be diabetic? What is prevalent in our society is type 2 diabetes mellitus, but there is also type 1 diabetes mellitus, which has a number of differences from the more common type of diabetes. In order to understand more about these two types of diabetes, here are some facts that you need to remember about each of them.


(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

Also called insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, type 1 diabetes is a condition gotten at birth or at a very young age. It accounts for about 5-10% of the total population of diabetics in the whole world. In this type of diabetes, there is a problem with the beta cells of the pancreas, which are responsible for the production of the hormone insulin. There is an autoimmune response in which the body’s own cells destroy the beta cells of the pancreas, thus the organ can no longer produce insulin to control blood sugar levels. Because of this, the cells are unable to utilize glucose and convert it into energy. Simply put, there is no insulin production in type 1 diabetes mellitus.

The symptoms of type 1 diabetes mellitus are already evident during childhood or young adulthood. They usually consult the doctor for symptoms of high blood sugar, such as constant hunger, increased thirst and urination, blurred vision, extreme tiredness, weight loss, and blurred vision. That is when they are diagnosed with this condition.

It is also common for these people with type 1 diabetes mellitus to have episodes of hypoglycemia, especially since they will be put on insulin therapy. This condition cannot be prevented or completely treated.

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

On the other hand, the non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus or type 2 diabetes mellitus is more commonly known in society today. In fact, this is one of the leading chronic diseases plaguing the world today. In type 2 diabetes mellitus, the insulin receptors in the cells have become less sensitive to insulin, hence, less sugar is being removed from the bloodstream. This decrease in sensitivity is due to the high sugar content in a person’s diet, making insulin release more frequent.

The symptoms are the same as type 1 diabetes, although a person with type 2 diabetes may appear to be asymptomatic for a long time. There are also no episodes of hypoglycemia in this type, unless the person with type 2 diabetes is already taking anti-diabetic medications. While those with type 1 diabetes are mostly thin, those with type 2 are mostly obese and overweight because of their sedentary lifestyles. This type of diabetes is also more common in African American, Hispanic, Native American, and Asian people. They also affect the middle age to older age groups.

Unlike the first type of diabetes, this condition can be improved or prevented through a healthy lifestyle and maintenance of normal weight.

For more information on the different types of diabetes and their differences, you can check out our newsletter.  And for meal plans that meet the needs of people with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, go here now.

About Mathea

Mathea Ford, RD/LD, is the owner of Healthy Diet Menus For You, LLC. She has over 22 books on Amazon, check out her work at https://www.renaldiethq.com/go/author


  1. […] called “type 1” diabetes, juvenile diabetes is a condition marked by little or no production of insulin by the pancreas. […]

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