Type 1 diabetes results from an autoimmune reaction and usually appears in adolescents and young adults. Type 2 diabetes develops over the course of many years. Risk factors include excess weight and a lack of exercise.
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes may have similar names, but they’re different diseases with unique causes.
Risk factors for type 1 diabetes
Causes of type 1 diabetes
The body’s immune system is responsible for fighting off foreign invaders, such as harmful viruses and bacteria.
Type 1 diabetes is
The immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. After these beta cells are destroyed, the body is unable to produce insulin.
Researchers don’t know why the immune system sometimes attacks the body’s own cells. It may have something to do with genetic and environmental factors, such as exposure to viruses.
Research into autoimmune diseases is ongoing. Diet and lifestyle habits do not cause type 1 diabetes.
Causes of type 2 diabetes
People with type 2 diabetes have insulin resistance. The body still produces insulin, but it’s unable to use it effectively.
Researchers aren’t sure why some people become insulin resistant and others don’t, but several lifestyle factors may contribute, including being inactive and carrying excess weight.
Other genetic and environmental factors may also play a role. When you develop type 2 diabetes, your pancreas will try to compensate by producing more insulin. Because your body is unable to effectively use insulin, glucose accumulates in your bloodstream.
There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.
Both types of diabetes are chronic diseases that affect the way your body regulates blood sugar or glucose. Glucose is the fuel that feeds your body’s cells, but to enter your cells it needs a key. Insulin is that key.
People with type 1 diabetes don’t produce insulin. You can think of it as not having a key.
People with type 2 diabetes don’t respond to insulin as well as they should and later in the disease often don’t make enough insulin. You can think of it as having a broken key.
Both types of diabetes can lead to chronically high blood sugar levels. That increases the risk of diabetes complications.
Risk factors for type 1 diabetes are less clear than risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
Known risk factors
- Family history: People with a parent or sibling with type 1 diabetes have a higher risk of developing it themselves.
- Age: Type 1 diabetes can appear at any age, but it’s most common among children and adolescents.
Type 2 diabetes risk factors
You’re at risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- have prediabetes, or slightly elevated blood sugar levels
- are carrying excess weight or have obesity
- have a lot of belly fat
- are physically active less than 3 times a week
over age 45
- have ever had gestational diabetes, which is diabetes during pregnancy
- have given birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
- are Black, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian, or Alaska Native due to structural inequities contributing to health disparities
- have an immediate family member with type 2 diabetes
- have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
If not managed, type 1 and type 2 diabetes can lead to symptoms
- urinating frequently
- feeling very thirsty and drinking a lot
- feeling very hungry
- feeling very fatigued
- having blurry vision
- having cuts or sores that don’t heal properly
- having blurry vision
- having very dry skin
- having more infections than usual
People with type 1 and type 2 diabetes may also experience irritability, mood changes, and unintentional weight loss.
Diabetes and numbness in hands and feet
People with type 1 and type 2 diabetes may experience numbness and tingling in their hands or feet. Good glucose management significantly reduces the risk of developing numbness and tingling in someone with type 1 diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
Although many of the symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are similar, they present in very different ways.
Many people with type 2 diabetes won’t have symptoms for many years, and their symptoms
Some people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms at all and don’t discover they have the condition until complications arise.
The symptoms of type 1 diabetes develop quickly, typically over the course of several weeks.
Once known as juvenile diabetes, this type usually develops in childhood or adolescence. But it’s possible to develop type 1 diabetes later in life.
There’s currently no cure for type 1 diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes don’t produce insulin, so it
Some people take injections into soft tissue, such as the stomach, arm, or buttocks, several times a 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 blood sugar levels can go up and down quickly.
Type 2 diabetes
Monitoring your blood sugar is an essential part of type 2 diabetes management, too. It’s the only way to know whether you’re 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.
Type 1 diabetes can’t be prevented.
It may be possible to lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes through these lifestyle changes, such as:
- maintaining a moderate weight
- working with your doctor to develop a healthy weight-loss plan, if you have overweight
- increasing your activity levels
- eating a balanced diet and reducing your intake of sugary foods or overly processed foods
Even if you’re unable to prevent the disease, careful monitoring can get your blood sugar levels back to standard and prevent the development of severe complications.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
The CDC estimates that 8.5 million people are living with undiagnosed diabetes. That’s about 3.4 percent of all U.S. adults.
The percentage of people with diabetes increases with age. Among those 65 years old and older, the rate reaches
Are men more likely to get diabetes?
Men and women get diabetes at
But prevalence rates are higher among certain races and ethnicities in the United States.
Statistics show that diabetes
Research suggests that this may be due in part to environmental factors, such as the history of discriminatory housing and lending policies in the United States.
Researchers posit that these policies resulted in racially and ethnically segregated neighborhoods that have inadequate access to healthy foods, insufficient health educational resources, and higher rates of obesity—a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
American Indian and Alaska Native adults are almost three times more likely than non-Hispanic white adults to be diagnosed with diabetes.
For both men and women, diabetes diagnoses
Prevalence rates are higher for Hispanic Americans of Mexican or Puerto Rican descent than they are for those of Central and South American or Cuban descent.
Among non-Hispanic Asian Americans, people with Asian Indian and Filipino ancestry have higher rates of diabetes than people with Chinese or other Asian ancestries.
How common is type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is less common than type 2.
How common is type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is much more common than type 1, and
Nutritional management and managing your blood sugar are key to living with diabetes.
If you have type 1 diabetes, work with your doctor to identify how much insulin you may need to inject after eating certain types of food.
People with type 2 diabetes need to focus on healthy eating.
Typically, people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes
People with diabetes may need to try different diets and nutritional plans to find a plan that works for their health, lifestyle, and budget.