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Recognizing the Difference between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes is a chronic disease characterized by blood sugar levels that exceed normal limits. This disease has two types that are sometimes difficult to distinguish, namely type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Even though they have the same name, the fact is that the two are something different. Check out the differences below.

Recognizing the Difference between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Recognize the Difference between Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes

Both are serious diseases which, if not managed properly, can lead to complications. The following is a complete difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes based on causes, symptoms, contributing factors, diagnosis and treatment.


Type 1 and type 2 diabetes actually have almost the same symptoms. High blood sugar levels make sufferers experience various symptoms such as:

  • Easily tired.
  • Easily thirsty.
  • Easily hungry.
  • Losing weight for no reason.
  • Frequent urination at night.
  • Bad breath.
  • The skin becomes drier.
  • Vision is often unclear.
  • Wounds take longer to heal.

The thing that distinguishes the symptoms of type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes is the time span of the symptoms. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes generally appear instantly and develop within a few weeks.

Whereas in type 2 diabetes, at first the symptoms don’t seem very clear, over time they will slowly get worse. So it is not uncommon for type 2 diabetes patients to realize they have this disease after experiencing complications.


The causes of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are slightly different. In type 1 diabetes, the body cannot produce insulin at all. This is caused by the pancreas breaking down cells for insulin production so insulin intake is needed from outside through insulin injections.

Meanwhile, in type 2 diabetes, the body still produces insulin. But there are very few of them. Thus, insulin cannot function optimally. As a result, blood sugar levels can also increase like type 1 diabetes.

Also Read: Carbohydrates for Diabetes: Better Rice, Potatoes, or Corn?

Supporting factors

Although this disease can affect anyone, type 1 diabetes is more common in children and adolescents. Most likely caused by an autoimmune disorder.

Meanwhile, type 2 diabetes mellitus generally occurs in adults over 40 years of age. Can occur due to genetic factors, age, lifestyle, and weight.

However, this figure is not a definite benchmark. Children with type 1 diabetes mellitus may also develop type 2 diabetes mellitus as they get older. Therefore, make sure the child’s nutrition and nutrition are properly fulfilled and balanced.


To determine whether a patient has type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, doctors will usually do blood sugar checks such as:

  • HbA1c test: Taking blood samples to determine blood sugar levels in the last 2-3 months.
  • Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (TTOG): A test that diabetic patients undergo by measuring the process of glucose. The time is 2 hours before and after the patient consumes food.
  • Fasting Plasma Glucose (FCG): A test performed by measuring the blood sugar level of a patient who has previously fasted for 8 hours.
  • Random Plasma Glucose (RPGs): Check glucose levels at any time of the day. In this test, the patient does not need to fast.

In patients who show symptoms of diabetes, doctors will usually check blood sugar at the time, fasting blood sugar, and hemoglobin (HbA1c).

To determine whether the patient has type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, the doctor will recommend an antibody test, because antibodies can only be found in type 1 diabetes.

Also read: 11 Most Effective Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Drugs


Diabetes is a disease that cannot be cured, but blood sugar levels can be controlled with medication and a balanced lifestyle.

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus treatment can use insulin injections. Apart from insulin, sufferers can also take blood sugar-lowering drugs prescribed by a doctor.

Now,, that’s the difference between type 1 diabetes mellitus and type 2 diabetes that you should know. Always consult a doctor to manage this disease properly.

  1. Anonymous. Differences Between type 1 and type 2 Diabetes. (Accessed January 19, 2023)
  2. Anonymous. 2021. Raising Children. Type-1 Diabetes. (Accessed January 19, 2023)
  3. D’Arrigo, Terri. 2021. Early Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes. (Accessed January 19, 2023)
  4. Nicols, Hannah. 2021. What are The Differences Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes? (Accessed January 19, 2023)
  5. Osborn, Corinne O’Keefe. 2022. Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes: What’s the Difference?. (Accessed January 19, 2023)

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