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Diabetes: Difference between type 1 and type 2

Diabetes is when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Blood glucose is the main type of sugar found in your blood and your main source of energy. Glucose comes from the food you eat and is also made in your liver and muscles. Your blood carries glucose to all of your body’s cells to use for energy. Your pancreas - an organ, located between your stomach and spine, that helps with digestion - releases a hormone it makes, called insulin, into your blood. Insulin helps your blood carry glucose to all your body’s cells. Sometimes your body doesn’t make enough insulin or the insulin doesn’t work the way it should. Glucose then stays in your blood and doesn’t reach your cells. Your blood glucose levels get too high and can cause diabetes or prediabetes. Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause health problems.

You might ask ‘what is prediabetes?’ Here is the answer –

Prediabetes is when the amount of glucose in your blood is above normal yet not high enough to be called diabetes. With prediabetes, your chances of getting diabetes type 2, heart disease, and stroke are higher. With some weight loss and moderate physical activity, you can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes mellitus. You can even return to normal glucose levels, possibly without taking any medicines.

Types of Diabetes

The three main types of diabetes are type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.People can develop diabetes at any age. Both women and men can develop diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes, which used to be called juvenile diabetes, develops most often in young people; however, type 1 diabetes can also develop in adults.

In diabetes type 1, your body no longer makes insulin or enough insulin because the body’s immune system, which normally protects you from infection by getting rid of bacteria, viruses, and other harmful substances, has attacked and destroyed the cells that make insulin.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes, which used to be called adult-onset diabetes, can affect people at any age, even children. However, diabetes type 2 develops most often in middle-aged and older people. People who are overweight and inactive are also more likely to develop type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Type 2 diabetes usually begins with insulin resistance—a condition that occurs when fat, muscle, and liver cells do not use insulin to carry glucose into the body’s cells to use for energy. As a result, the body needs more insulin to help glucose enter cells. At first, the pancreas keeps up with the added demand by making more insulin. Over time, the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin when blood sugar levels increase, such as after meals. If your pancreas can no longer make enough insulin, you will need to treat your diabetes type 2.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes can develop when a woman is pregnant. Pregnant women make hormones that can lead to insulin resistance. All women have insulin resistance late in their pregnancy. If the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin during pregnancy, a woman develops gestational diabetes. Overweight or obese women have a higher chance of gestational diabetes. Also, gaining too much weight during pregnancy may increase your likelihood of developing gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes most often goes away after the baby is born. However, a woman who has had gestational diabetes is more likely to develop diabetes type 2 later in life. Babies born to mothers who had gestational diabetes are also more likely to develop obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Over time, both the types of diabetes can lead to serious problems with your blood vessels, heart, nerves, kidneys, mouth, eyes, and feet. These problems can lead to an amputation, which is surgery to remove a damaged toe, foot, or leg.

Hence, it is always recommended to contact a doctor and take proper treatment for diabetes. Keep a check on your diabetes count on daily basis. Make small changes in your diet and lifestyle. These things may seem like a lot to do at first but on the long run, they will help you say good-bye to diabetes.

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