Diabetes Management

Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes: Causes, Symptoms, and Solutions

Debolina Raja ,
May 2022

India is the diabetes capital of the world. This number refers to people with Type 2 diabetes. Did you know that is more than one type of diabetes? In this article, we will understand what is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?

Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

The main difference is that type 1 diabetes is a genetic condition and is also known as juvenile diabetes as it affects children (4-7 years) and teenagers (10-14 years). Whereas type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle metabolic disorder that develops over time.  

What is Type 1 Diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is the type of diabetes in which your body does not produce insulin because your immune system is attacking and destroying the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas. It is an autoimmune condition. It is diagnosed with a random blood-sugar test or a glycated A1C test. 

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

In type 2 diabetes, the body does not respond to insulin like it should, also known as insulin resistance. This means the glucose cannot enter the cells of your body. Leading to an increase in blood sugar levels. Prolonged exposure to increased blood sugar levels can even lead to reduced insulin production. And also lead to serious health complications. It is diagnosed with a random blood-sugar test or an HbA1C test

The Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Causes of Type 1 Diabetes

It is a type of autoimmune disease. Most of the time it is genetic or certain environmental elements. 

  • In type 1 diabetes, the immune system of the body attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. 
  • As a result, the body is no longer able to produce insulin. 
  • Type 1 diabetes is often hereditary and is first seen in childhood and adolescence. It can also occur in adulthood over the age of 40. 

Causes of Type 2 Diabetes

In type 2 diabetes, your body usually becomes resistant to the insulin that is being produced. 

  • The pancreas produces insulin but the body is not able to use it effectively.
  • The risk factors for type 2 diabetes are age, family history, lifestyle, and obesity. 
  • The good thing about type 2 diabetes is that with timely diagnosis, right treatment, and positive lifestyle changes, it can be put into remission. 

Early Signs of Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes usually have the same kind of symptoms.

Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes:

  • Dry and itchy skin
  • Sores, cuts or wounds take longer to heal
  • Feeling excessively thirsty, more than earlier
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Blurry vision or changes in vision
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Excessive fatigue and tiredness
  • Hunger levels vary
  • Tingling sensation in limbs, especially feet 
  • In some children, it can also lead to bedwetting, who previously didn’t wet the bed

Additional Symptoms in Men

  • Decrease in libido or sexual drive 
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Retrograde ejaculation, in which case, some or all of the semen goes into the bladder, instead of ejaculating through the penis
  • Lower levels of testosterone 

Additional Symptoms in Women

  • Itching or soreness in the vaginal area
  • Increased risk of Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) 
  • Frequent occurrence of urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Oral thrush, which happens as a result of yeast that accumulates in your tongue or mouth due to the extra sugar that is present in your saliva. This can cause pain in your throat or mouth.

Type 1 Diabetes Treatment 

Some of the most common treatment or management options for type 1 diabetes include

Type 2 Diabetes Treatment

Some of the most common treatment or management options for type 2 diabetes include

  • A healthy diet rich in protein and fiber
  • Increased physical activity 
  • Stress and sleep management
  • Weight loss
  • Monitoring blood sugar levels, regularly
  • Oral medications/ insulin 

Risk Factors for Type 1 Diabetes:

  • Parent or sibling has type 1 diabetes. 
  • More common in children and adolescents.
  • Certain types of genes can affect the chances of type 1 diabetes. 
  • Geographical areas that are farther from the equator have a higher prevalence of people with type 1 diabetes. 

Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes:

  • Slightly higher levels of blood sugar levels or prediabetes.
  • Excessive fat around the belly area.
  • Parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes.
  • Have PCOS 
  • Over the age of 45.
  • Lead a sedentary lifestyle with no or less exercise. 
  • Are overweight or obese. 
  • History of gestational diabetes

What are the Complications of Untreated Diabetes?

in both cases, untreated diabetes leads your body exposed to high blood sugar which can result in serious complications that can affect every organ in your body, such as diabetic retinopathy, nerve damage, or diabetic neuropathy  (especially, in lower limbs), diabetic foot (which can lead to ulcers and even amputation), kidney damage or diabetic nephropathy, periodontal diseases, increased risk of cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases. 

The above complications are long-term complications. Diabetes can also lead to acute complications, such as hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, and even diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). The stress of a diabetes diagnosis, management, and risk of future complications can also lead to mental health issues and especially diabetes distress. 

 

Fittertake: 

Type 2 diabetes can be managed effectively with timely diagnosis and early action. However, to improve your quality of life and avoid future complications. It is important to have a plan that takes into account all the factors that affect type 2 diabetes. That includes diet, exercise, sleep, stress, and mental health management. Fitterfly’s diabetes management programs – Diabefly Pro and Diabefly Reverse come with a dedicated coach of nutritionists, physiotherapists, and psychologists to help you manage or reverse your diabetes. 

 

References:

  1. https://www.nwpc.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-different-types-of-diabetes/
  2. https://www.diabetes.org.uk/diabetes-the-basics/differences-between-type-1-and-type-2-diabetes#:~:text=The%20main%20difference%20between%20the,producing%20cells%20in%20your%20pancreas
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/difference-between-type-1-and-type-2-diabetes#How-does-diabetes-affect-the-body

     4. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/7504

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