Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2

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Type 1
  • Autoimmune destruction of the insulin producing cells (beta cells) of the pancreas.
  • Diagnosed more often in childhood or early adulthood, but can be diagnosed at any age.
  • Due to inability to produce insulin, injections of insulin must be administered daily.
  • Best treatment: a healthy, low carb whole food way of eating, plus exercise and insulin.
  • There is no cure, YET, for Type 1 diabetes, and no way to prevent it that we know of.
  • When we talk about needing to find a “cure” for diabetes, this is the Type of diabetes we are speaking of.
Type 2
  • A condition of insulin resistance. Is related to family history and, significantly, to lifestyle factors.
  • The body often makes adequate insulin but the insulin is not able to be used properly (due to insulin resistance), causing yet more insulin production and more insulin resistance.
  • Can lead to an insulin deficiency over time, especially if not treated early and appropriately.
  • Diagnosed most often in adulthood, but is increasing in the childhood population.
  • Best treatment: a healthy, low carb whole food way of eating, plus exercise. These should be pursued early and aggressively, preferably in the “pre-diabetes” stage. Medication may need to be added if these measures are not effective enough.
  • There is no cure for Type 2 diabetes.  In other words, you cannot completely regain lost beta cell function.  However, with aggressive lifestyle management, many can reverse the process of Type 2 so that they are able to live within their bodies ability to produce enough insulin for their healthy lifestyle. Many are able to eliminate some or all medications.  (Some consider this being “cured.” 👍 So if someone says their diabetes has been “cured,” this is the diabetes they are talking about.  I prefer the term “reverse.”)
  • The best “cure” for Type 2 diabetes is PREVENTION.  Type 2 is most often highly preventable, even if one has a strong family history.

People do not progress from Type 1 to Type 2 or vice versa.  These are two completely separate diseases with completely different etiologies.  (However, Type 1’s can develop insulin resistance IN ADDITION to their autoimmune diabetes.  LADA is a slower onset autoimmune diabetes and is sometimes called Type “1 1/2”.  Although slower in onset, once reaching the point where insulin is needed, those with LADA are treated as, and considered, a Type 1.)