Difference Between Type I and Type II Diabetes

Posted on September 9, 2016




Diabetes is a medical condition that causes your blood glucose to be too high. Also called blood sugar, glucose comes from the food you eat and is made in your liver and muscles. Your blood carries it to all your body's cells where it's used for energy.

Your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin that helps carry your glucose to your body's cells. However, sometimes your pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin or it doesn't work correctly. When insulin doesn't transport glucose to your cells, the glucose remains in your blood causing your blood sugar levels to become too high.

Consistently high blood sugar results in diabetes. Over time, the condition can cause serious health problems.

Types of Diabetes

There are two types of diabetes, Type I and Type II. You can develop diabetes at any age and both men and women are affected equally.

Type 1 Diabetes

Once called juvenile diabetes, Type 1 most often develops in younger people. However, it can occur in adults. The condition causes the body's immune system to attack the cells that make insulin. The result is that your body doesn't make as much insulin as required.

If you have Type I diabetes, treatment includes:

  • taking insulin injections,
  • taking oral medications,
  • eating healthy,
  • getting plenty of exercise,
  • keeping blood pressure controlled,
  • keeping cholesterol level controlled.

Type II Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes affects people of all ages, including children. However, it most often occurs in people who are middle aged or older. People who are overweight and inactive are most likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes begins with insulin resistance. The fat, muscles and liver cells don't use insulin to carry glucose to the body's cells. Therefore, the body needs more insulin to help glucose enter cells. For a time, the pancreas keeps up with the added demand for more insulin but eventually, the pancreas can't make enough insulin to meet the body's needs. So, after a meal when blood sugar levels increase, your body won't be able to effectively deal with the increased glucose in the blood stream. Over time, your pancreas will stop making insulin all together. At that point, you'll need treatment.

Treatment for Type 2 diabetes usually includes:

  • taking diabetes medications or insulin therapy
  • eating a healthy diet,
  • getting plenty of exercise,
  • keeping your blood pressure controlled,
  • keeping your cholesterol in check.

Diabetes is a serious medical condition that can seriously affect your health. Your doctor will help you determine what types of diabetes you have and guide you in the right type of treatment.