Friday, May 10, 2013

Diabetes Type 1 and Type 2 : What's the Difference?

So you were diagnosed with diabetes? What does that mean, and how do you know if it is considered type 1 or type 2?

As you may already know, diabetes results from high blood sugar (ie. glucose) due to a dysfunction in the body's insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas, which controls blood sugar levels by moving the glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream into your body's cells so that it can be used by the body as a source of fuel. If the body fails to make enough insulin, or over time becomes resistant to the insulin being made, diabetes is the common end result. Common symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst, fatigue, and urination. Vision can also be affected. However, a simple blood test is needed to confirm a diagnosis of diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce the insulin your body needs. As a result, these individuals have high blood sugar levels. Only 5 to 10 percent of all diabetics are Type 1 diabetics. Type 1 diabetes has often been referred to as juvenile diabetes, since it is usually diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults. Since the body does not make enough insulin on its own, proper control of blood sugar requires individuals to give themselves daily injections of insulin.

If you were diagnosed with diabetes later in life, you most likely have Type 2 diabetes, which is far more common than Type 1. In Diabetes Type 2, the body begins to be less responsive to the insulin being made by the pancreas. Therefore, since more insulin is needed to get the same effect, the amount of insulin being made is usually not enough for the body to achieve the desired blood sugar level. Weight control and exercise have been shown to be very effective in helping to manage Type 2 Diabetes. However, Type 2 diabetics often need an oral medication or insulin injections to achieve better control.

For more information, visit the PubMed Health Article on diabetes at: and the National Diabetes Education Program at:

1 comment: