Living life as a Type 1 Diabetic.

The difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Recently, I’ve been reminded that even though I am a type 1 diabetic, my upstairs neighbour (a type 2 diabetic) has a different treatment than I have. Before I was diabetic, I would not know the difference, heck, I thought that having diabetes meant not eating sugar or else you get sick, type of thing. People who are not surrounded by diabetics or are not diabetics themselves usually have a poor education about the disease and the different types. So I thought I would give a definition of the difference and a little experience of mine from recent things that happened to me.

As per

Type 1 Diabetes

In Type 1 Diabetes, the person’s own body has destroyed the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. When your own body destroys good stuff in your body it has what is called anautoimmune disease. Diabetes Type 1 is known as an autoimmune disease. 

Quite simply – a person with Diabetes Type 1 does not produce insulin. In the majority of cases this type of diabetes appears before the patient is 40 years old. That is why this type of diabetes is also known as Juvenile Diabetes or Childhood Diabetes. Diabetes Type 1 onset can appear after the age of 40, but it is extremely rare. About 15 per cent of all diabetes patients have Type 1. 

People with Type 1 have to take insulin regularly in order to stay alive. 

Diabetes Type 1 is not preventable, it is in no way the result of a person’s lifestyle. Whether a person is fat, thin, fit or unfit, makes no difference to his or her risk of developing Type 1. In the case of Diabetes Type 2, much of its onset is the result of bodyweight, fitness and lifestyle. The vast majority of people who develop Type 1 are not overweight, and are otherwise healthy during onset. You cannot reverse or prevent Type 1 by doing lots of exercise or eating carefully. Quite simply, the Diabetes Type 1 patient has lost his/her beta cells. The beta cells are in the pancreas; they produce insulin.

Type 2 diabetes:

Person with Diabetes Type 2 has one of two problems, and sometimes both:

1. Not enough insulin is being produced.

2. The insulin is not working properly – this is known as  insulin resistance

The vast majority of patients who develop Type 2 did so because they were overweight and unfit, and had been overweight and unfit for some time. This type of diabetes tends to appear later on in life. However, there have been more and more cases of people in their 20s developing Type 2, but it is still relatively uncommon. 

Approximately 85% of all diabetes patients have Type 2. 

Recently, as some of you know, I’ve subscribed to Weight Watchers. As I’m part of a diabetes forum, I’ve asked them if they knew or know anyone who is diabetic and have any stories to share. I was surprised to realize that 90% of all comments were negative for all sorts of reason, but mostly because WW now counts fruits as 0 points. I was wondering how that was a problem until I realized that out of every replies, only 1 type1 diabetic had answered me. The rest were all type 2. Most of type 2 control their diabetes with medications and by watching what they eat, meaning as little sugars as they can get. Fruits have sugar. Good sugars, but sugar non the less. Or as we diabetics call them, carbs. The more you eat them, the more sugar you have in your blood stream.

That being said, as a type 1 diabetic wearing an insulin pump, if I want an apple, I will eat an apple. I log in 15g of carbs into my pump and she (Yes, my pump is female!) gives me the necessary amount of insulin to cover those carbs. Just as a regular pancreas would. But most type 2 diabetics don’t regulate their blood sugar with insulin. It is with medications, so they cannot eat fruit, or any other things that contain carbs, as they want.

It’s weird, I’ve been diabetic for 6 years, and it just dawned on me that I may have it easy. Well, easier, than a type 2.

What do you think? Am I just thinking this or is it fact?


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17 thoughts on “The difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

  1. It’s funny because people always get confused between the two. When people think I have type 2 I get offended ha ha

  2. The way I look at it is at least it’s treatable. I mean always worrying about insurance sucks (not that you have to worry about that 🙂 ) But I’d rather have this then cancer or some other disease you can die quickly from…

  3. The house hunting is good. We applied for a nice duplex a few miles outside of Reno. Hopefully we will hear back from them tomorrow.

  4. cafesatsunset on said:

    Hi, yes the difference between the two types of diabetes is striking. My friend Carlos is managing for his T2 and sharing his story in his blog The Sugar Files, and as a way of educating ourselves, we’ve been reading books about the condition. We recently read a book titled Life of Control in which most of the stories were about T1 patients. Have you read this book? It’s a really interesting collection of stories from patients who have both T1 and T2.

  5. karen on said:

    I have type 1 as well, have not moved to the pump, but do take insulin 4 times a day. I think we do have it easier, as a fellow ww, I do eat fruit every morning with yogurt, count the carbs and adjust my insulin accordingly. If I was managing my diabetes with pills, I would have to rethink that. Its funning though, my sugar levels don’t seem to follow the norm, in fact, my specialist and I did a case study were he and I worked out together, as my sugar levels do not drop when I work out, go figure, and when i eat apples, it has no effect on my sugar..Got to love a disease were somethings are so different from other people.
    To me it is trial and error and still is after being type 1 for the last 27 years.

  6. LauraAnne on said:

    I don’t know where you got your information on type 2 diabetes. Really need to educate yourself a little more before you post about type 2. Type 2 is not caused by being overweight or unfit for many years as you posted. Yes many type 2 are overweight but not all. Many type 2 diabetics became overweight after developing diabetes but before diagnosis of diabetes. This kind of information fuels the uneducated population about diabetes.

    • LauraAnne;
      First, if you read my article, I have a link to where I got this information.
      Second, before saying that I should educate myself a little more, you should read that the article claims that the -vast- majority of type 2 is caused by being overweight. Nowhere does it say that it is 100% of cases.
      Also, if you would read more carefully, you could also prevent type 2 aggravation.
      Just sayin’.

  7. People always assume I have Type 2! And most people think diabetes=Type 2 and don’t know there is one or the other. I get offended when people think I am Type 2 because it usually means they think I somehow caused it with lifestyle choices.

    I would rather have Type 2 though, because a lot of people can reverse it with diet/exercise and healthy eating habits. Some Type 2 people don’t test their blood sugar daily and lead relatively normal lives unaffected by diabetes.

    The only thing we have on them is that we can eat whatever we want. But I would take no needles any day. (That isn’t to say that some Type 2s don’t use needles or even pumps.)

    • You’re right about the “curing” type 2 part. I blame most of it on doctors not showing them how type 2 works, too. Several people I know who have type 2 diabetes don’t eat properly and just makes things worse! They don’t even have Endos!

      I don’t know if you watch The Biggest Loser (I’m a sucker for that show) but last season, And many other seasons too, Ramon, a contestant, discovered on the show that he had Type 2 diabetes. He didn’t even know until he showed up on the Ranch, but after -just- several months, he was cured. By losing weight and eating healthy, adopting a healthier life style. He’s such an inspiration!

  8. lovehatediabetes on said:

    Just like Cara, people always say, “oh you have diabetes? How does that happen to such a small active person?” Assuming I have type 2. I don’t think many people realize the differences, or even know that there are two types.
    As far as which is “easier” I used to not know how to answer this question when people asked me if I had the better diabetes. Diabetes isn’t ever easy, type 1 or type 2. But after much thought, I’d definitely agree to having type 2 rather than type 1. For the same reasons Cara stated, type 2 can be reversed. Man, I wish I could do that 😦

    • yeah, ditto! I’m sure having Type 2 would give -me- a reason enough to lose all the weight i need to lose lol.

      Now I’m going to lose it, be healthier, but I’ll still be diabetic. Oh well! At least I’m living in these days and I can treat it lol.

  9. Looking headlong to mensuration more. Zealous journal article.Some thanks again. Zealous.

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