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"How are diabetes 1 and diabetes 2 different?"

ZocdocAnswersHow are diabetes 1 and diabetes 2 different?


I have type two diabetes and would like to know how it differns from type 1. I am 39 and I need insulin according to my doctor.


Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a condition in which glucose in not used correctly in the body and results in hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels). There are two main types of DM - Type 1 and Type 2. Both can be diagnosed at any age, but in general, Type 1 is diagnosed in childhood and Type 2 in adulthood. Both your primary care physician and endocrinologist can help manage and discuss your diabetes. Type 2 DM is the most common form of diabetes and is due to a combination of both insulin deficiency (pancreatic cells not making enough insulin) and insulin resistance. It is highly related to excess weight and obesity. Because there is not an absolute insulin deficiency, often patients with Type 2 DM can trial oral hypoglycemic medications first. However, many patients lose their pancreatic cell function in the long term and require insulin therapy. There are many different oral medication classes and insulin regimens and you can discuss the different approaches with your physician. Type 1 DM is due to destruction of the pancreatic cells which produce insulin and results in an absolute insulin deficiency. Because of this, patients with Type 1 DM always require insulin therapy to manage their glucose levels and prevent diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). It is most commonly autoimmune in nature and testing for autoantibodies can be helpful for diagnosis. Type 1 DM is usually diagnosed in childhood, but there is also an adult onset variation. You should follow up with your primary care physician and endocrinologist to discuss diabetes management and possible complications.

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