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HomeExclusiveIs Type 1 Diabetes More Serious Than Type 2

Is Type 1 Diabetes More Serious Than Type 2


Which Type Of Diabetes Is Most Common

Type 1 diabetes is much less common and affects about 1.25 million people. It is further estimated that of the 29.1 million people affected with diabetes, about 8.1 million people are undiagnosed, meaning that they have diabetes but are not aware of it. There has been an increase in the number of Americans with prediabetes. In 2010, 79 million people were estimated to have prediabetes. In 2012, this number was 86 million.

Treating High Blood Glucose

Hyperglycaemia can occur when your blood glucose levels become too high. It can happen for several reasons, such as eating too much, being unwell or not taking enough insulin.

If you develop hyperglycaemia, you may need to adjust your diet or your insulin dose to keep your glucose levels normal. Your diabetes care team can advise you about the best way to do this.

If hyperglycaemia isn’t treated, it can lead to a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, where the body begins to break down fats for energy instead of glucose, resulting in a build-up of ketones in your blood.


Diabetic ketoacidosis is very serious and, if not addressed quickly, it can lead to unconsciousness and, eventually, death.

The signs of diabetic ketoacidosis include:

  • frequently passing urine

Read more about the symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis

Your healthcare team will educate you on how to decrease your risk of ketoacidosis by testing your own blood for ketones using blood ketone sticks if you’re unwell.

If you develop diabetic ketoacidosis, you’ll need urgent hospital treatment. You’ll be given insulin directly into a vein . You may also need other fluids given by a drip if you’re dehydrated, including salt solution and potassium.


How Is Type 2 Diabetes Managed

Theres no cure for Type 2 diabetes. But you can manage the condition by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and taking medication if needed. Work with your healthcare provider to manage your:

  • Blood sugar: A blood glucose meter or continuous glucose monitoring can help you meet your blood sugar target. Your healthcare provider may also recommend regular A1c tests, oral medications , insulin therapy or injectable non-insulin diabetes medications.
  • Blood pressure: Lower your blood pressure by not smoking, exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet. Your healthcare provider may recommend blood pressure medication such as beta blockers or ACE inhibitors.
  • Cholesterol: Follow a meal plan low in saturated fats, trans fat, salt and sugar. Your healthcare provider may recommendstatins, which are a type of drug to lower cholesterol.

Recommended Reading: Ideal A1c Range

How Are Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosed

The primary test used to diagnose both type 1 and type 2 diabetes is known as the A1C, or glycated hemoglobin, test.

This blood test determines your average blood sugar level for the past 2 to 3 months. Your doctor may draw your blood or give you a small finger prick.

The higher your blood sugar levels have been over the past few months, the higher your A1C level will be. Test results are expressed as a percentage. An A1C level of 6.5 percent or higher indicates diabetes.


The A1C test isnt accurate for people with sickle cell anemia or the sickle cell trait. If you have this condition or trait, then your doctor will have to use a different test.

Are The Same Tests Used To Diagnose Both Types

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes which is more dangerous

A fasting blood sugar measurement can be used to diagnose any type of diabetes. This test measures the level of sugar in the bloodstream in the morning before eating breakfast. Normal fasting plasma glucose levels are less than 100 milligrams per deciliter . Fasting plasma glucose levels of more than 126 mg/dl on two or more tests on different days indicate diabetes. A random blood glucose test can also be used to diagnose diabetes. A blood glucose level of 200 mg/dl or higher indicates diabetes.

Another test that is often used is a blood test to measure levels of glycated hemoglobin . This test provides a measure of the average levels of blood glucose over the past 3 months. Other names for the A1C test are HbA1C and glycosylated hemoglobin test.

Tests to identify the abnormal antibodies produced by the immune system are used to diagnose type 1 diabetes. Some of the antibodies seen in type 1 diabetes include anti-islet cell antibodies, anti-insulin antibodies and anti-glutamic decarboxylase antibodies.

    Type 1 treatment: Insulin is the treatment of choice for type 1 diabetes, because the body responds appropriately to insulin and the problem is a lack of insulin production by the pancreas.


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    Type 2 Diabetes And Insulin Injections

    People with type 2 diabetes may need to take insulin injections, usually for one of two main reasons:

    • Low sensitivity to insulin: The more excess body weight we carry, the less sensitive we are to insulin Being insensitive to insulin means insulin doesnt reduce blood glucose levels as much as it should. People with low insulin sensitivity often need to be injected with insulin to avoid hyperglycemia
    • Beta cell failure: If you develop insulin resistance, you need more of it to keep your blood glucose levels stable. More insulin production means more work for the pancreas. Over time, the beta cells can become burnt out by the constant strain, and stop producing insulin altogether. Eventually, you can get to a similar situation as someone with type 1 diabetes, in which your body is incapable of producing the amount of insulin you need to keep blood glucose levels under control. Insulin injections are necessary in these situations

    Can Diabetes Be Prevented Or Cured

    “As of now there is no way to prevent or cure type 1 diabetes,” Drincic notes. “There is lots of promising research, but it is still in the early stages.” Some of the initiatives involve targeting the cells in the immune system that cause the autoimmune response. Other possibilities include the use of stem cells or pancreas transplants.

    Another area of research is diet and its effects on both prevention and diabetes maintenance. A study published in March 2017 in the British Journal of Nutrition reported that following a diet high in plant nutrients and low in meat consumption lowers a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The results indicated that certain compounds found in meat, rather than specific proteins, increased the risk of type 2 diabetes. Aside from eating healthy foods rich in plant nutrients, a large number of studies indicate that exercise is paramount not only for weight control, but also for maintaining a healthy, optimistic outlook.

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    Type 1 Vs Type 2 Diabetes Causes

    Type 1 diabetes Type 2 diabetes An autoimmune disease where the body attacks the beta cells in the pancreas, stopping or reducing insulin production. Cells dont respond correctly to insulin as a result of insulin resistance. The pancreas will keep producing more insulin, but it will not effectively regulate blood sugar.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes

    Symptoms of Type 2 diabetes tend to develop slowly over time. They can include:

    Rarely, Type 2 diabetes leads to a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis . DKA is a life-threatening condition that causes your blood to become acidic. People with Type 1 diabetes are more likely to have DKA.

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    How To Treat Type 2 Diabetes:

    Unlike type 1, people with type 2 diabetes often do not need to take insulin, because their bodies still produce a small amount of it. Though there are medications like Metformin available to assist in lowering blood sugar, the primary ways to treat type 2 diabetes are:


    • A balanced diet. Eating fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins while avoiding more than the occasional high-fat, high-sugar food is the first and most essential step to treating type 2 diabetes.
    • Exercise. Staying active is also very important. There are so many ways to get exercise. Try different activities to find a type of exercise you enjoy and work it into your weekly routine.
    • Weight loss. Of course, if you work toward eating healthier and exercising, this may be a byproduct. Losing weight is less about the number on the scale and more about taking care of your body and reducing the strain on your pancreas.
    • Blood glucose monitoring. Checking your blood sugar regularly will become a part of your daily routine. It’s important to stay up-to-date on how your levels are doing throughout the day and adjust your food and activities accordingly. After a while you’ll figure out the regimen and balance that works best for you.

    Symptoms And Risk Factors

    It can take months or years for enough beta cells to be destroyed before symptoms of type 1 diabetes are noticed. Type 1 diabetes symptoms can develop in just a few weeks or months. Once symptoms appear, they can be severe.

    Some type 1 diabetes symptoms are similar to symptoms of other health conditions. Dont guessif you think you could have type 1 diabetes, see your doctor right away to get your blood sugar tested. Untreated diabetes can lead to very seriouseven fatalhealth problems.

    Risk factors for type 1 diabetes are not as clear as for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, though family history is known to play a part.

    Recommended Reading: What Is A Normal A1c For A Non Diabetic

    Who Gets Type 1 Diabetes

    Type 1 diabetes can’t be prevented, and there is no real way to predict who will get it. Nothing that either a parent or the child did caused the disease.


    Once a person has type 1 diabetes, it does not go away and requires lifelong treatment. Kids and teens with type 1 diabetes depend on daily insulin injections or an insulin pump to control their blood glucose levels.

    Page 2

    Do I Have Other Treatment Options For My Type 1 Diabetes

    Which Is More Dangerous: Diabetes Type 1 or Type 2 ...

    The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has played an important role in developing artificial pancreas technology. An artificial pancreas replaces manual blood glucose testing and the use of insulin shots. A single system monitors blood glucose levels around the clock and provides insulin or a combination of insulin and glucagon automatically. The system can also be monitored remotely, for example by parents or medical staff.

    In 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a type of artificial pancreas system called a hybrid closed-loop system. This system tests your glucose level every 5 minutes throughout the day and night through a continuous glucose monitor, and automatically gives you the right amount of basal insulin, a long-acting insulin, through a separate insulin pump. You still need to manually adjust the amount of insulin the pump delivers at mealtimes and when you need a correction dose. You also will need to test your blood with a glucose meter several times a day. Talk with your health care provider about whether this system might be right for you.

    The illustration below shows the parts of a type of artificial pancreas system.

    Starting in late 2016 and early 2017, the NIDDK has funded several important studies on different types of artificial pancreas devices to better help people with type 1 diabetes manage their disease. The devices may also help people with type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes.


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    What Are The Differences Between The Causes Of Type 1 And Type 2

    Type 1 diabetes causes

    Type 1 diabetes is believed to be due to an autoimmune process, in which the body’s immune system mistakenly targets its own tissues . In people with type 1 diabetes, the beta cells of the pancreas that are responsible for insulin production are attacked by the misdirected immune system. This tendency for the immune system to destroy the beta cells of the pancreas is likely to be, at least in part, genetically inherited, although the exact reasons that this process happens are not fully understood.

    Exposure to certain viral infections or other environmental toxins have been suggested as possible reasons why the abnormal antibody responses develop that cause damage to the pancreas cells.

    Type 2 diabetes causes

    Both diabetes type 1 and diabetes type 2, require good control over their diet by eating foods that help regulate blood sugar, exercise, and in most patients, medical treatments to allow the patient to remain in good health.


    Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes

    The symptoms of type 1 diabetes come on much more quickly and severely because the development of the disease usually happens within a matter of weeks once the immune system has begun attacking the cells that produce insulin.

    As insulin production quickly decreases, blood sugar levels quickly increase.

    Left unnoticed or untreated, the dangerously high blood sugar levels within even one month of having the disease can become fatal or nearly fatal, putting undiagnosed patients in comas.

    Fortunately, most cases of type 1 diabetes are caught before this happens due to its very consistent symptoms.

    The most common symptoms of type 1 diabetes include:


    • Sudden extreme thirst
    • Tingling pain or numbness in feet and hands

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    How Are Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes Treated

    Theres no cure for type 1 diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes dont produce insulin, so it must be regularly injected into the body.

    Some people take injections into soft tissue, such as the stomach, arm, or buttocks, several times per day. Other people use insulin pumps. Insulin pumps supply a steady amount of insulin into the body through a small tube.

    Blood sugar testing is an essential part of managing type 1 diabetes, because levels can go up and down quickly.

    Type 2 diabetes can be managed and even reversed with diet and exercise alone, but many people need extra support. If lifestyle changes arent enough, your doctor may prescribe medications that help your body use insulin more effectively.


    Monitoring your blood sugar is an essential part of type 2 diabetes management too. Its the only way to know if youre meeting your target levels.

    Your doctor may recommend testing your blood sugar occasionally or more frequently. If your blood sugar levels are high, your doctor may recommend insulin injections.

    What Causes Type 1 Diabetes

    Type 1 diabetes is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction that destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin, called beta cells. This process can go on for months or years before any symptoms appear.

    Some people have certain genes that make them more likely to develop type 1 diabetes, though many wont go on to have type 1 diabetes even if they have the genes. Being exposed to a trigger in the environment, such as a virus, is also thought to play a part in developing type 1 diabetes. Diet and lifestyle habits dont cause type 1 diabetes.

    Recommended Reading: Which Pancreatic Cells Release Insulin And Glucagon


    Diabetes And Your Child

    For a parent whose child is diagnosed with a life-long condition, the job of parenting becomes even tougher.

    Although being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes will involve coming to terms with the diagnosis, getting used to treatment and making changes to everyday life, your child can still lead a normal and healthy life.

    The Diabetes UK website has information and advice about your child and diabetes.

    Which Is Worse: Type 1 Or Type 2 Diabetes

    Guess what? Living with any type of diabetes presents a variety of incredibly stressful challenges on a daily challenge. No type of diabetes is easy, and no type of diabetes is easily fixed with diet and exercise.

    And most importantly, when left untreated, both types of diabetes can result in serious complications, which means all types of diabetes are serious.

    At the end of the day, every person living with diabetes deserves compassion, respect, and understanding. All types can affect every single part of your life!

    The most important thing to remember is that you are not defined by your blood sugars, and you do not need to manage diabetes perfectly in order to be doing a great job and live a full life!

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    How Is Type 1 Diabetes And Type 2 Diabetes Treated

    Mainstream media would have you believe that treating diabetes is as easy as eating fewer doughnuts or slapping an insulin pump on and poof! Your diabetes is controlled now!

    While all patients with type 1 diabetes need insulin to stay alive, there are a variety of treatment plans for people with type 2 diabetes depending on their bodys needs. No treatment plan is better or worse than another. Instead, the right choice for each patient is simply defined by what helps that patient improve their blood sugar levels.

    In real life, treating any type of diabetes is a complicated, non-stop juggling act of variables including:

    • insulin
    • other health conditions
    • human error

    Lets take a closer look at the basics of treating type 1 diabetes versus treating type 2 diabetes.

    What Medicines Do I Need To Treat My Type 1 Diabetes

    Which type of diabetes is more dangerous? Type 1 vs type 2 ...

    If you have type 1 diabetes, you must take insulin because your body no longer makes this hormone. Different types of insulin start to work at different speeds, and the effects of each last a different length of time. You may need to use more than one type. You can take insulin a number of ways. Common options include a needle and syringe, insulin pen, or insulin pump.

    Some people who have trouble reaching their blood glucose targets with insulin alone also might need to take another type of diabetes medicine that works with insulin, such as pramlintide. Pramlintide, given by injection, helps keep blood glucose levels from going too high after eating. Few people with type 1 diabetes take pramlintide, however. The NIH has recently funded a large research study to test use of pramlintide along with insulin and glucagon in people with type 1 diabetes. Another diabetes medicine, metformin, may help decrease the amount of insulin you need to take, but more studies are needed to confirm this. Reseachers are also studying other diabetes pills that people with type 1 diabetes might take along with insulin.

    Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, can occur if you take insulin but dont match your dose with your food or physical activity. Severe hypoglycemia can be dangerous and needs to be treated right away. Learn more about hypoglycemia and how to prevent or treat it.

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