Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Diversa Health

Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Diversa Health

Diabetes is a condition whereby the human body is unable to appropriately store and use glucose (a type of sugar found in blood). The cause of this is closely related to the level of insulin produced in the body. An insulin is a type of hormone which regulates the level of glucose by transforming glucose into energy for the body and to store excess glucose until needed. Instead of storing and using the glucose properly, a diabetic body will have high levels of glucose collected in the blood which does not reach the cells that require it. This will in turn lead to a range of serious health complications. There are two main types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2. So what exactly are the differences between them, and can they be treated?

The Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes usually presents itself initially in children and teenagers but can also start presenting in adulthood. It occurs when the immune system begins to attack the pancreatic cells which produces insulin in our body, causing the cells to stop insulin production. With the lack of insulin within the body, the glucose levels will not be effectively regulated, and the person will experience hyperglycaemia, symptoms of which include difficulty in breathing, nausea, vomiting, frequent urination and increased thirst. Unfortunately, prevention is not available for Type 1 diabetes and it is often hereditary which means it is often passed on through family members. The use of long-term supplemental insulin is required to manage the levels of glucose in the body. This will aid in managing the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes.

On the other hand, Type 2 diabetes tends to develop later in adulthood. However, there is recent evidence showing an increase in childhood cases. It differs from Type 1 diabetes as the body of Type 2 diabetes is able to produce insulin. This condition occurs to bodies with constant high blood glucose, triggering an overproduction of insulin for the body in an attempt to maintain the level of glucose. With continuous overexposure of insulin, the body’s cells become less responsive or no longer responds to insulin. This in turn causes the body to stop insulin production and led to glucose build up in blood, also known as insulin resistance. The development of Type 2 diabetes is often link to lifestyle choices, for example obesity, smoking, lack of exercise and unhealthy dietary. Similar to Type 1 diabetes, a person with Type 2 diabetes may also require the use of supplemental insulin to maintain healthy levels of glucose in their body. As Type 2 diabetes has no early symptoms, a routine blood test for people over the age of 45 years old which will show the levels of blood sugar. This should aid in early detection for early prevention or treatment to slow down the progress of the condition.

How is Diabetes Treated?

Whether it is Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes, there is no permanent cure where one’s diabetic condition is completely eradicated. However, there are treatments to manage and prevent it from getting worse and even reverse it.

Those with Type 1 diabetes will require regular insulin injections or will need an insulin pump fitted. Other medications such as pramlintide can be used to assist in regulating glucose levels. It is important to remain active and lead a healthy lifestyle, however glucose levels will need to be carefully monitored during exercises. To avoid diabetes-related complications, it is also crucial to follow the treatment plan agreed by a doctor, wear a medical ID, try and avoid infections as much as possible and attend regular eye tests.

In contrast, Type 2 diabetes is more manageable as there is evidence to show that some Type 2 diabetes can enter into remission by maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle. In addition to regular exercise and a healthy diet, it is also important to manage both blood pressure and cholesterol levels and to stop smoking. Many medications can aid in reducing the amount of sugar that the liver produces, and some medications can increase insulin levels. Additional insulin may be required, but only for some Type 2 cases. Like Type 1, it is also important to follow a treatment plan and wear a medical ID, as this can help a medical staff to recognise the requirement of insulin, if you require an emergency medical attention.

For both types of diabetes, it is recommended to constantly monitor the levels of glucose with testing kits as self-monitoring can provide insight in regard to the effects of dietary, exercise and medication on the blood glucose levels. By maintaining an active lifestyle and nutritious food intake, it can reduce risk of diabetes complication and reduce insulin resistance. It is also ideal to monitor the intake of carbohydrates as it is known to cause sudden rise in blood sugar levels for Type 1 diabetes and a low-calorie, low-sugar meal plan is recommended for Type 2 diabetes to preserve a healthy weight.


In essence, diabetes can be a challenging condition to manage, however, with the right treatment plan, it can be controlled and even reversed, meaning that the person can lead a relatively normal life. It is important to know the signs and symptoms of when your blood sugar is too high or too low so that it can be effectively treated as early as possible. Thus, it is ideal to constantly monitor the levels of blood sugar to prevent the condition from deteriorating and developing serious health complications.

Reversing type 2 diabetes is a personal and challenging journey. Our experienced medical and dietetic team at Diversa Health is here to provide you the support you need through a plan that works for you. We will consult you via video calls to understand your goals and form a personalised food and lifestyle plan to meet your medical circumstances. If you’re ready to make a change, start your journey with us today.