What Is the Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?

Blood testing

When it comes to diabetes, there are three forms of the disease that are typically discussed: Type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes affects women during pregnancy and will typically resolve once the baby is born, but type 1 and type 2 diabetes can affect anyone at any age. This article will take a look at these two types of the disease to offer some insight on how to cope with a diabetes diagnosis and avoid the serious complications these conditions have in common.


Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body no longer produces enough insulin, a hormone that helps the body digest food and convert sugar to energy. Type 2 diabetes is related to insulin as well, but it takes place when the body builds up a resistance to this hormone. Each condition may be related to heredity, but type 2 diabetes also has a number of lifestyle risk factors such as obesity and inactivity. The causes for type 1 diabetes are less clear.

Age of Development

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes used to be referred to as adult-onset and juvenile diabetes, though these names are not accurate in terms of when each disease may develop. While type 1 diabetes is more common in children and type 2 is more common in middle-aged and older adults, each disease can actually develop at any time. In fact, with a growing trend of childhood obesity, more and more children and teens are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.


The potential complications of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are very similar. However, each disease requires a distinct treatment plan to avoid these health risks. With type 1 diabetes, patients may have to inject insulin and take oral medications to help the pancreas function. Patients with type 2 diabetes often have a more holistic care approach, which includes healthy food choices, monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol, and boosting physical activity. If these treatments are ineffective on their own, diabetes medications may be used for type 2 diabetes as well.

At Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas, you can find the right care for your diabetes with free diabetes education programs open to the community. Call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (702) 233-5300 to reserve your spot in an upcoming class with us. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.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