What’s the difference between type 1 diabetes versus type 2?
For starters, type 2 is much more common.
Over 30 million Americans have some form of diabetes, and roughly 90-95 percent of them have type 2. (1)
Type 1, on the other hand, accounts for only 5 percent of total cases. (2)
With that said, both forms share similar long-term consequences if left untreated.
In fact, severe diabetes can lead to heart disease, blindness, and limb amputation.
That’s right, diabetes can take your foot!
Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to avoid these horrific side effects and improve your quality of life.
In this article, we explore the differences and similarities between type 1 and type 2 diabets.
Let’s dive in!
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects the way the body uses energy.
The main characteristic of all types of diabetes is high blood sugar.
Ultimately, people with diabetes have trouble processing sugar due to problems with the hormone insulin.
In healthy people, insulin allows sugar to enter the cells and be used as energy.
However, in people with diabetes, the sugar remains in the blood.
Eventually, chronically high blood sugar can wear down the body and promote inflammation.
Overview of Type 1 Diabetes versus Type 2 Diabetes
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are the two most common types of diabetes.
Before we cover their causes, symptoms, side effects, and natural treatments in greater detail, here’s a quick rundown of the differences between type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes:
- generally develops in adolescents and young adults, whereas type 2 is more common later in life.
- is caused by genetics, whereas type 2 is caused by diet and lifestyle.
- is the result of low insulin production, whereas type 2 is the result of insulin resistance.
- cannot be reversed, whereas type 2 can only be managed.
- requires insulin shots, whereas type 2 can often be controlled by diet and exercise.
- diabetes typically has a rapid onset, whereas type 2 develops gradually.
In general, type 1 is more severe.
For instance, if a type 1 diabetic forgets to take their insulin, it can quickly become life-threatening.
What Causes Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?
Here are the basics of what causes type 1 diabetes vs. type 2 diabetes:
Causes of Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition where the body attacks itself by mistake.
What causes the body to behave this way?
Researchers have tracked it back to certain genes that are passed from parent to child. (3)
Unfortunately, some people are just dealt an unlucky hand.
With that said, environmental factors can also trigger the onset of symptoms. (4)
For example, if you’re predisposed to type 1 diabetes, you might not experience symptoms until you catch a virus or get exposed to an allergen.
Suddenly, the immune system overreacts and never returns to normal.
As a result, the body destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin.
Diet and lifestyle do not cause type 1 diabetes.
Causes of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is caused by eating too many carbs and sugar, not exercising, and experiencing too much stress.
However, a high-sugar diet is by far the biggest risk factor.
When your blood sugar is always high, insulin receptors in the blood can become desensitized and stop working.
In the end, the sugar remains in the blood and continues to wreak havoc on the body.
Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes
For the most part, type 1 and type 2 diabetes share the same symptoms.
With that said, there are a few key differences.
To begin with, type 1 generally has a faster onset, whereas type 2 diabetes can be so gradual that it may go undiagnosed for years.
Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes:
- Feeling tired all the time
- Mood swings
- Hunger (even if you just ate)
- Dry mouth
- Blurry vision
- Tingling and numbness in the hands and feet
- Weight changes
- Slow-healing wounds and infections
- Dry, itchy skin
- Sexual dysfunction (both men and women)
You can also develop patches of dark, thick skin in the armpits, neck, and other areas where the skin folds. (5)
Type 1, however, is unique in that it can quickly lead to dangerous hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) if undealt with.
This can result in heavy breathing, confusion, loss of consciousness, coma and death.
Typically, the only effective treatment at this stage is regular insulin injections.
Natural Treatments for Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes
The following natural remedies are recommended for all types of diabetes.
However, only type 2 diabetes can be reversed.
The first order of business is to eliminate problematic foods, and that means ditching the carbs and sugar.
Studies show that a high-sugar diet can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. (6)
Starches, like bread and potatoes, should also be avoided because the body quickly breaks them down into glucose.
Plus, these foods are terrible for inflammation and can damage the gut lining.
To make matters worse, carbs and sugar promote obesity by fueling unhealthy gut bacteria.
Instead, load up on high-fiber veggies, wild-caught fish, grass-fed beef, and magnesium-rich foods like almonds.
Exercise is also important.
In fact, studies show that regular exercise can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, heart attack, and death. (7)
At the same time, it’s important to embrace stress-reducing activities like meditation.
Chronic stress can promote inflammation, disrupt hormone production, and increase the risk of severe complications.
If you’d like more advice about type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, feel free to contact us at Complete Care Health Centers.
We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about how to treat diabetes naturally.