Difference between Type 1 and 2 diabetes: All You need to Know

Diabetes has spread so extensively worldwide that it has almost become a pandemic. It is a very common disease affecting over 425 million people across the world. Its two known forms are: Type 1 and Type 2. Though both forms are associated with problems related to the insulin, the causes of both are different.

Difference Between the Two

In people suffering from type 1diabetes, the body stops producing insulin, making you dependent on insulin injections. In type 2 diabetes, the body cannot effectively use its own insulin due to various reasons. Both of these are chronic diseases but are distinct in the way they affect your body.


Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where your insulin producing cells are targeted by your own immune system. The healthy cells of the pancreas are mistakenly targeted by your immune system, considering them to be foreign invaders. As a result, your body stops making insulin completely. The genetic factor too plays a role here but not always. It is also often referred to as juvenile-onset diabetes as its appearance is quite common in children and adolescents.

Risk Factors:

Hereditary- You are at a greater risk of getting the disease if your parents or grandparents have suffered or are suffering from the disease.

Genetics- Certain genes present in your body make you more susceptible to get this disease

Age- Though type 1 diabetes can appear at any age, it is quite commonly found amongst children and adolescents.

Type 2:

More common amongst adults, type 2 diabetes is caused by genetics and lifestyle choices. However due to poor lifestyle habits, this form of diabetes is now also getting common in children. In type 2 diabetes, your pancreas don’t stop producing insulin but its storage and usage is not done effectively, leading to it being accumulated in the bloodstream. Excess weight and poor lifestyle choices could be the reason behind type 2 patients becoming insulin resistant.

Risk Factors:

Weight and lifestyle- Being overweight and leading a sedentary lifestyle are the major risk factors that can lead to development of type 2 diabetes.

Hereditary- Having a history in the family increases your chances of getting the diseases by five to 10 times.

PCOS- Having polycystic ovarian syndrome is also considered to be a risk factor.

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can develop at any age. But type 1 being autoimmune cannot be prevented, whereas type 2 can be prevented or delayed through weight management, regular exercise and nutrient-rich diet.

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