Type-1 vs Type-2 Diabetes: Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors and Treatment

Digital Health
3 min read
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According to the US NIH, diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar.

Type-1 and type-2 diabetes may have a few things in common but there are differences too. There are differences in the cause and who is more likely to suffer from them.

According to the HealthLine reports, type-1 diabetes only affects the 8% of the population and type-2 affects around 90% of the people.


According to the US NIH, people who have type-1 diabetes, their bodies do not produce insulin hormone. While the people suffering from type-2 diabetes, their bodies don't respond to the insulin hormone. But we can understand the difference in detail with other factors like symptoms, causes, risk factors and treatment.

Type-1 vs Type-2 Diabetes: Symptoms

The common symptoms of type-1 and type-2 diabtes include:

  • Frequent urination

  • Feeling thirsty and hungry frequently

  • Fatigue

  • Blurred vision

  • Injuries take time to heal

According to the American Diabetes Association, people may also feel the tingling sensation in their hands and feet but it may reduce if the blood sugar levels are managed well.

The symptoms of type-1 diabetes develop within a few weeks and generally affects a person at a young age or in adolescence but rare cases may appear later in life too.

The symptoms of type-2 diabetes may be similar to that of type-1 but they take a long time to develop or a person may have no symptoms for a long time as well. That is why it becomes difficult to know if you are suffering from type-2 diabetes unless the complications arise.

Type-1 vs Type-2 Diabetes: Causes

Our body is designed in such a way that the immune system fights against the foreign invaders like virus and bacteria that may be harmful for the body.

But in type-1 diabetes the immune system confuses the healthy cells of the body with the virus and starts destroying them. The insulin-producing beta cells get killed in this process and this results in low insulin levels.


In type-2 diabetes, the pancreas produces enough insulin but it is not used by the body effectively.The body produces makes more insulin to compensate the ineffectiveness but there's no use and the glucose gets accumulated in the blood. It may happen due to lack of physical activity, overweight or external environmental factors, the research is still on.

Type-1 vs Type-2 Diabetes: Risk Factors 

Risk factors that increase the chances of type-1 diabetes include:

  • Family history, meaning if any of your parent or sibling suffers from type-1 diabetes, it increases your chances of suffering from it too.

  • Age is another contributing factor. Though type-1 diabetes can affect you at any age but children and adolescents are generally diagnosed with type-1 diabetes.

  • Genes may also be responsible for the development of type-1 diabetes.

Risk factors that increase the chances of type-2 diabetes are:

  • Obesity or overweight

  • lack of physical activity

  • If a person is prediabetic

  • If a person is older than 45

  • If a woman suffers form gestational diabetes

  • If a person suffered from PCOS

Type-1 vs Type-2 Diabetes: Treatment

There is no cure for type-1 diabetes. Since the body is enable to produce insulin, the insulin is injected into the body. Insulins can be injected through the soft tissues like buttocks, stomach and arms or taken with a help of an insulin tube several times a day. Blood tests are important part of managing type-1 diabetes.

Type-2 diabetes can be reversed and managed with a few medications else with a proper diet and exercise. It also needs a regular check on the blood sugar levels and doctor may suggest you blood tests if required.

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Topics:  Type-2 diabetes 

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