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The difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes

by IBD Medical on February 02, 2023

Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects millions of people around the world. There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.


The difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes


Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body's immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps regulate the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood. People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin injections or use an insulin pump to replace the missing hormone and regulate their blood sugar levels. This type of diabetes usually develops in childhood or early adulthood and accounts for 5-10% of all diabetes cases.

Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is a metabolic disorder that occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or the pancreas stops producing enough insulin to meet the body's needs. Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart, and blood vessels, leading to a range of serious complications. Type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed in adulthood and accounts for 90-95% of all diabetes cases.

There are several key differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, including:

  1. Causes: As mentioned earlier, type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune response that destroys the cells that produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, such as obesity, inactivity, and unhealthy eating habits.
  2. Age of onset: Type 1 diabetes usually develops in childhood or early adulthood, while type 2 diabetes is most often diagnosed in middle age or later.
  3. Treatment: People with type 1 diabetes require daily insulin injections or an insulin pump to regulate their blood sugar levels. They must also monitor their blood sugar levels regularly and make changes to their insulin doses as needed. Type 2 diabetes is usually managed with a combination of lifestyle changes, such as healthy eating and regular exercise, and medications that help the body use insulin more effectively or increase insulin production.
  4. Progression: Type 1 diabetes is a rapid and progressive disease that requires prompt treatment to avoid serious complications. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, typically develops gradually over several years and may go undiagnosed for a long time.
  5. Risk factors: Family history and genetics play a role in the development of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. However, lifestyle factors, such as obesity and physical inactivity, are the main risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
  6. Complications: Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can lead to a range of serious health complications, including heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness, and neuropathy. However, the rate of progression and the specific complications may differ between the two types of diabetes.

In conclusion, type 1 and type 2 diabetes are two distinct and serious health conditions with different causes, treatments, and risks. Understanding these differences is crucial for managing diabetes and avoiding complications. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to work closely with your healthcare team to develop an individualized treatment plan that meets your unique needs and helps you manage your condition effectively.

Diabetes support products that empower you

Please remember, it is important to consult with a doctor or diabetes healthcare professional for personalised advice and guidance on how to manage diabetes. 

Remember to always seek advice from your medical practitioner before changing anything about your diabetes management. The above information is not medical advice.

Welcome to Glucology by IBD Medical !

It all began in 2016 when our founder wanted to make daily life easier by simplifying diabetes management. He realised that IBD Medical had the potential to ease the burden of people living with diabetes and empower them. This was when Glucology was born in 2017 in Sydney, Australia.

Glucology was created by IBD Medical and designed to provide stylish, discrete and innovative solutions for people living with diabetes. It gives people access to a bespoke line of support products at an affordable price.


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