Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are two distinct forms of diabetes, each with its own causes, characteristics, and treatment approaches. Here are the main differences between them:




Type 1 diabetes: This is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. The exact cause of this autoimmune reaction is not fully understood, but it is thought to involve genetic and environmental factors.

Type 2 diabetes: This form of diabetes is primarily associated with insulin resistance and a relative lack of insulin. It is often linked to lifestyle factors such as obesity, physical inactivity and poor diet, although genetics also play a role.


Age of onset:


Type 1 diabetes: It is typically diagnosed in children, teens, or young adults, although it can occur at any age.

Type 2 diabetes: Tends to develop in adults, but can also occur in children and adolescents, especially as rates of childhood obesity have increased.


Insulin dependence:


Type 1 diabetes: People with type 1 diabetes are completely dependent on insulin therapy for survival. They need to take insulin injections or use an insulin pump to replace the hormone that their body no longer produces.

Type 2 diabetes: Initially, many people with type 2 diabetes can manage their condition with lifestyle changes, oral medications, or injectable medications without insulin. However, some may eventually require insulin therapy as the disease progresses.




Type 1 diabetes: Symptoms often develop quickly and include excessive thirst, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, fatigue and blurred vision.

Type 2 diabetes: Symptoms may develop more slowly or may go unnoticed for a longer period of time. Common symptoms include increased thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, blurred vision, and slow wound healing.




Type 1 diabetes: People with type 1 diabetes are usually not overweight; there may even be unwanted weight loss before diagnosis.

Type 2 diabetes: Many individuals with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese, but not all. Genetic factors and body composition also play a role.

Risk factors:


Type 1 diabetes: Family history and genetic predisposition are important risk factors. In some cases, viral infections can also trigger an autoimmune reaction.

Type 2 diabetes: Major risk factors include obesity, physical inactivity, poor diet, family history, age (especially over 45), and certain ethnic backgrounds (such as African American, Hispanic, Native American, and Asian).




Type 1 diabetes: Treatment primarily involves insulin therapy, which may include several daily injections or an insulin pump. Blood glucose monitoring and carbohydrate counting are key to managing blood sugar.

Type 2 diabetes: Treatment often begins with lifestyle modifications, such as dietary changes and increased physical activity. Oral medications and/or non-insulin injectable medications may be prescribed. Some individuals may eventually need insulin therapy.


Difference between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes





Both types of diabetes can lead to serious complications if not treated well. These can include heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, nerve damage, eye problems, and more.


It is important to note that these are general differences and individual cases may vary. Some individuals with diabetes may have characteristics of both type 1 and type 2, referred to as “type 1.5” or “LADA” (latent autoimmune diabetes in adults). Correct diagnosis and personalized treatment plans are essential for effective diabetes management.


To consult an Endocrinologist at Sparsh Diagnostic Centre, call our helpline number 9830117733.





No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This field is required.

This field is required.