Diabetes MellitusWhat is Diabetes Mellitus

Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes: Their Differences and Similarities

Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes: Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disease that prevents the proper transport of glucose from the blood stream into the cells. Glucose, a form of sugar, is an important source of energy for the entire system. Glucose is transported into the cells through a substance called insulin.

There are actually different types of Diabetes mellitus and two of the major categories are the type 1 and type 2 diabetes, also known as the insulin dependent and the insulin independent diabetes mellitus, respectively.

The Major Differences between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

One of the biggest differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus is the production and the use of insulin in the body.

In Type 1 Diabetes, the body is not able to produce sufficient amounts of insulin to transport the glucose from the blood stream into cells where they are utilized.

Type 2 Diabetes mellitus on the other hand, is brought about by the inability of the body to take in the insulin produced by the system.

Here, the body produces sufficient amounts of substance but they are not utilized by the cells due to certain insulin transport abnormalities.

Type 1 diabetes mellitus can also manifest ketoacidosis which is the accumulation of

ketones in the system. Ketoacidosis can produce varying effects as well – such as nausea, Kussmaul breathing (smell of acetone in the breath), abdominal pain, vomiting and even altered states of consciousness. These symptoms are rarely present in type 2 diabetes.

Similarities in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

The signs and symptoms manifested in type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus are basically similar.

These include polyuria or excessive urination, polydipsia or excessive thirst and polyphagia or excessive hunger. These symptoms are primarily brought about by insufficient amounts of insulin that are transported into the cells.

Causes of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

The underlying cause of type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus also vary. Type 1 diabetes for instance, is a heritable disease which can be triggered by certain kinds of viruses such as the Coxsackie B4 virus.

Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Because of genetic variability, there are some people who may have acquired the virus but did not develop diabetes at all; while there are some who have also become more susceptible to the disease because of the viral infection.

Type 2 diabetes on the other hand, is a brought about by a combination of genetic susceptibilities and certain lifestyle factors. People who have unhealthy eating habits and limited physical activities are found to be very susceptible to type 2 diabetes than those who exercise regularly and eat healthy.

Diagnosis of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

There are also different tests that can classify these two different types of diabetes mellitus. This is very important as treatment can vary between the two different diagnoses.

The best test to distinguish type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus is a C-peptide assay which can measure the endogenous production of insulin within the body.