Differences between type 1 & type 2 diabetes mellitus

  • Diabetes mellitus refers to a group of diseases that affect how the body uses blood sugar.
  • Glucose is an important source of energy for our body.
  • There are mainly two types of diabetes mellitus, type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

The key difference between diabetes type 1 and diabetes type 2 is that type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune reaction and develops early in life. Type 2 diabetes develops over the course of many years and is related to lifestyle factors such as being overweight.

What are the most common diabetes symptoms?

Diabetes symptoms will depend on how high your blood sugar is. In diabetes type 1, symptoms tend to be more severe and come on quickly. Some of the symptoms of both types of diabetes include:

  1. Feeling more thirsty than usual
  2. Urinating often
  3. Losing weight without trying (more so in type 1 diabetes)
  4. Presence of ketones in the urine (ketones are the by-product of the breakdown of muscle and fat)
  5. Feeling tired and weak
  6. Having blurry vision
  7. Recurrent infections such as gum, skin and vaginal

Type 1 diabetes can start at any age, but it is most likely to start at early years during childhood. Type 2, the most common type of diabetes, can also have an onset at any age, however is more common in patients over the age of 40. Nonetheless, there has been an increase of diabetes type 2 amongst young people, mostly due to obesity.

There are different types of long term complications. The longer you have uncontrolled diabetes and less control of your blood sugar levels, the higher the risk of complications. Some of these complications include: nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy), cardiovascular disease, kidney damage, eye damage, skin and mouth conditions, and depression.


Unfortunately, diabetes type 1 cannot be prevented. However, lifestyle changes along with proper treatment can help to manage the condition. On the other hand, diabetes type 2 can be prevented, by eating healthy, keeping a healthy weight, and being physically active. However, if you have already been diagnosed with diabetes type 2, medication may need to be included in addition to living a healthy lifestyle as a part of the regimen to control the condition.

To learn more about this medical condition, you can book an appointment at
Email: appointments@totalhealth.ky
Call: +1 (345) 333-2222

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