Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are both chronic metabolic disorders that affect the way the body processes blood sugar (glucose). However, they are distinct conditions with different causes, symptoms, and treatments.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. As a result, the body does not produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels, and people with type 1 diabetes require lifelong insulin replacement therapy. Type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed in childhood or adolescence, although it can develop at any age. NHS link for more information.
Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is caused by a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors, such as obesity and physical inactivity. In people with type 2 diabetes, the body either does not produce enough insulin, or is not able to use insulin effectively (insulin resistance), leading to high blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes is typically diagnosed in adulthood, although it is becoming increasingly common in children and adolescents due to rising rates of obesity. NHS link for more information.
Symptoms of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can include frequent urination, excessive thirst, hunger, fatigue, and blurred vision. However, people with type 1 diabetes are more likely to experience rapid onset of symptoms and a more severe presentation, whereas people with type 2 diabetes may not experience symptoms until the disease has progressed.
Treatment for both types of diabetes typically involves a combination of lifestyle modifications, such as diet and exercise, and medication. In addition, people with type 1 diabetes require insulin replacement therapy, while people with type 2 diabetes may also require medications to manage blood sugar levels.