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The Overview of Two Types of Diabetes

The diagnosis of diabetes can be quite scary for a patient. However, thanks to the huge progress the medical science have made in understanding diabetes and discovering effective treatments for it, nowadays the devil of diabetes is not so black as he is usually painted. And this blackness is gradually dissipated not only by the brand new forms of insulin injections, which are effective, safe and user-friendly, or oral medications, capable of controlling diabetes; but, first of all, it is the light of knowledge, which helps us to disperse the darkness even of the most serious illnesses.

The more we know about the disorder – the more power we gain to fight it. Speaking about diabetes, it is of primary importance to understand that there are two types of diabetes, commonly referred to as type 1 and type 2. Though both types of diabetes can be explained with certain abnormalities in the production of insulin, each of them has its own origin, development pattern and, consequently, the plan of management and treatment.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is also called insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile-onset diabetes (because mostly it appears at early age under 20). In this form of diabetes, the human pancreas fails to produce insulin – a hormone, which is necessary for transforming glucose (blood sugar from food sources, such as carbohydrates or starches) into energy, used practically by all body cells, except nervous system cells.

Type 1 diabetes is considered to be chronic auto-immune disorder. For some reasons, which are yet not clearly discovered, the human immune system starts to attack the insulin-producing beta-cells in the pancreas and finally destroys them completely. In people with type 1 diabetes no insulin is produced in the organism – consequently, in order to deal with all the sugars in food and to supply organs and tissues with energy, patients should regularly receive insulin injections.

Type 2 Diabetes

The other names for type 2 diabetes are noninsulin-dependent diabetes or adult-onset diabetes. This is the most common type of the illness – up to 90-95% of people with diabetes have this form of the disorder. Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 means that the body of the patient does produce insulin. The problem is that either the amount of insulin is insufficient to convert all the sugar from food into energy, or the body cells do not “accept” or “ignore” insulin. This is called insulin resistance.

At early stages, when the body still produces insulin, type 2 diabetes can be managed with lifestyle changes or special oral medications, which help to support the production of insulin or fix insulin resistance. However, once left untreated, the production of insulin may decline, so that a patient will need insulin therapy.

Type 2 diabetes usually affects people after 30-40. However, in recent years there are alarming signals of increasing type 2 diabetes among young persons and even children. The key is that while heredity still plays an important role in the development of type 2 diabetes, there are other factors, which trigger the disorder. These are poor eating habits, leading to overweight and obesity, high blood pressure and lack of exercise. Unfortunately, all these factors are the signs of modern society, especially in the industrialized developed countries.

On the other hand, type 2 diabetes is considered to be a preventable disorder. That means that healthy eating, exercising and fitness are the first steps to avoid diabetes. It may sound too simple, but that is really true – we cannot change our heredity, but we can really change our lifestyle and give up some bad habits.

Key differences between two types of diabetes
Type 1 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes

5-10% of all diabetes cases

90-95 % of all diabetes cases

Pancreas does not produce insulin at all

Pancreas still produces insulin, but its amount does not meet body’s requirements, or body cells become insulin resistant

Develops at early age (under 20)

Develop at adult age (above 30-40)

Mostly triggered by some viral infections in people with hereditary predisposition

Mostly triggered by unhealthy diet, overweight, obesity, high blood pressure, lack of exercise

Requires regular insulin injections

May be treated by combination of healthy lifestyle changes and oral diet pill


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