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

Though they both might describe a condition that impairs the body’s ability to properly regulate insulin, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes have very strong distinctions that should always be kept in mind if you want to have the clearest possible understanding of the condition possible. Different cases and types of of diabetes can vary greatly in the origin of their emergence, severity, symptoms and overall impact on the lives of those who have it. The following are some of the most important things to keep in mind when it comes to the key differences between Types 1 and 2 of this disease.


To best understand the differences between Type 1 and 2 diabetes, it’s best to start off with a solid base of general understanding about diabetes as a whole. In the simplest terms, both types of the disease indicate that there is a fundamental issue underlying the body’s basic metabolic functionality.

The condition can be used as an umbrella term that indicates multiple diseases that each have their own detrimental degree of impairment. In just about all cases, the condition negatively impacts the effectiveness of the pancreas at utilizing any dietary sugar and fat that you ingest.

The underlying issue may be that the pancreas fails to produce the proper amount of insulin necessary to carry out its macro-nutrient utilization function. In more severe cases, the pancreas may be so impaired that it fails to produce any insulin whatsoever. In the event that your pancreas does produce insulin but the body simply does not respond to it properly, the condition would be accurately defined as a case of severe insulin resistance.

Type 1 Diabetes

The Type 1 variation of the condition is one in which your immune system has mistakenly indicated your pancreas as an target to attack. The pancreas is only able to produce insulin through the proper action of its beta cells, and when the immune system targets these beta cells as things to be destroyed, the pancreas naturally won’t be able to carry out this vital function in the manner that normally should be fully capable of.

When the function of the immune system’s beta cells has been compromised, there simply isn’t enough glucose being transmitted into your cells. The glucose that would normally be moved into your cells simply lingers in the blood instead, resulting in an abnormally elevated blood sugar level that can cause one or more serious problems such as weight fluctuation, dehydration and overly acidic ketones.

Type 1 is a relatively rare disease that is generally only seen in 1 out of every 20 diabetics. The condition is equally represented in men and women alike, generally manifesting early in life but capable of emerging in adulthood as well.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 of the disease, unlike Type 1, is highly common among all who have it. Well over twenty million people in the nation have Type 1, and in these cases, the issue does not lie with a low production of insulin but rather with a failure of the body’s cells to use the insulin as it normally should be capable of.

While genes can play a big part in the development of Type 2, many find that the condition emerges after subjecting the body’s blood sugar level to repeated spikes through excessive consumption of processed foods high in sugar. The combination of excess fat, elevated glucose levels, increased blood pressure and excessive cholesterol in the diet can culminate in metabolic syndrome; under these conditions, the body has essentially been shocked into a state of induced insulin resistance, otherwise known as diabetes.