Maybe you have insulin resistance and you're wondering what the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes is?
Maybe you've been told you have high blood sugar or high a1c and you're confused about type 1 vs type 2 diabetes?
Maybe you've been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and wondering if you could get type 1?
Or maybe you're just curious to know the difference?
Whatever your questions, let's help clear up the confusion between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a genetic condition, an autoimmune condition that can get triggered by various environmental factors igniting an autoimmune response that leads to the destruction of pancreatic islets (cells in the pancreas) and the failure of insulin production.
Type 1 diabetes predominantly occurs during childhood but it can also develop in later life too.
Due to the complete destruction of the pancreatic cells, all type 1 diabetics need insulin replacement therapy because the pancreas simply can't produce any insulin.
Diet and lifestyle are still very important to a person with type 1 diabetes but they can't ‘cure' themselves of the disease because it is an autoimmune condition.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes can have a strong genetic predisposition, so if there is a history in your family, you could be at higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes. However for most people, type 2 diabetes is predominantly a result of unhealthy diet, weight gain, stress, and physical inactivity.
Years ago, type 2 diabetes was called ‘adult onset diabetes' because it was only typically seen in people over 40 years of age.
Now we see type 2 diabetes in children, adolescents, and young adults. In fact type 2 diabetes is now an epidemic across many parts of the world.
Let's look at these shocking numbers:
- Currently there are 1.7 billion people with type 2 diabetes
- 1 in 2 Americans are predicted to have it by 2020
- 1 person every 5 minutes being diagnosed in Australia
Not all type 2 diabetics have to take insulin, only some do because there is not a complete death of pancreatic cells, like in type 1 diabetes.
Instead what happens is a progressive failure of insulin action and an increase in insulin resistance. Either one of these issues can result in the need for additional insulin to help control blood sugar levels.
Type 1 vs Type 2 Diabetes: What's The Difference?
Type 1 Diabetes – a genetic condition, an autoimmune condition that results in the complete destruction of cells in the pancreas and the failure of insulin production. All type 1 diabetics need insulin replacement.
Type 2 Diabetes – a lifestyle condition that develops predominantly due to unhealthy diet, weight gain, stress, and physical inactivity.
Type 1 vs Type 2 Diabetes Treatment
Type 1 diabetics still need to be aware of what they eat and do regular exercise but they can never ‘cure' their condition. They have complete death of the pancreatic cells so these never grow back and the only option is ongoing insulin replacement.
Type 2 diabetics need to follow a healthy diet with a big focus on the right type of carbs to control blood sugar levels. They also need to exercise regularly to help lower blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity.
Can you cure type 2 diabetes?
Well this is debateable.
Many people would say you can't but studies have shown that people can restore their blood sugar and health back to normal.
There are many examples of people who have type 2 diabetes, have had high blood glucose and a1c, been taking insulin and medication, been overweight or obese and super unhealthy. Then they have followed a diet and exercise regime and eliminated medication and insulin and restored their blood glucose and a1c to normal.
So is a ‘cure' possible?
YES it is!
But it's not going to come in the form of a pill!
You have to change your diet and lifestyle and if you're prepared to do that, then in a sense you can ‘cure' your condition.
I often say there are 4 simple things you need to do.
- Eat well
- Move more
- Sleep soundly
- Stress less
I did say simple, but I know these steps aren't necessarily easy, that's why we're here to help!