|Once known as juvenile diabetes, type 1 diabetes develops when the immune
system destroys the body's ability to produce insulin.
Type 1 Diabetes, formerly called juvenile diabetes because it affects mostly
children and young people, develops when the body's immune system attacks and
beta cells found in the pancreas. Beta cells are the body's only
means of producing the hormone insulin, which regulates blood glucose, the fuel
that lets cells produce energy.
To survive, people with type 1 diabetes must receive regular doses of Insulin
delivered by either an injection or a pump. Read more...
The Hunt for a Type 1 Diabetes Cure
Hope for a cure
is focused on encouraging the pancreas to regrow insulin-producing beta
cells and finding a way to stop the body from killing off those cells.
There is no cure for type 1
diabetes. People who develop the disease — mostly children — are
dependent on insulin injections for the rest of their lives.
Can a Pancreas Transplant Cure Diabetes?
successful pancreas transplant eliminates the need for taking insulin,
measuring blood glucose levels, and watching your diet, but it may not
be the answer for everyone.
Differences Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
In general, people with diabetes either have a total lack of insulin (type 1 diabetes) or they have too little insulin or
cannot use insulin effectively Type 2 Diabetes
- Type 1 diabetes (formerly
called juvenile-onset or insulin-dependent diabetes), accounts for 5% to
10% of all people with diabetes.1
In type 1 diabetes, the body's immune system destroys the cells that
release Insulin eventually eliminating insulin
production from the body. Without insulin, cells cannot absorb sugar
(glucose), which they need to produce energy.
- Type 2 diabetes (formerly
called adult-onset or non–insulin-dependent diabetes) can develop at any
age, but most commonly becomes apparent during adulthood. But the
incidence of type 2 diabetes in children is rising. Type 2 diabetes
accounts for the vast majority of people with diabetes—90% to 95%. In
contrast to type 1 diabetes, insulin resistance is the main characteristic
of type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance refers to the body's inability to
respond properly to insulin. Resistance develops because of many factors,
including genetics, obesity, increasing age, and having high blood sugar
for a long time.
How are these diseases different?
between type 1 and type 2 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes
Symptoms usually start in childhood or young adulthood.
People often seek medical help because they are seriously ill from sudden
symptoms of high blood sugar.
The person may not have symptoms before diagnosis. Usually
the disease is discovered in adulthood, but an increasing number of children
are being diagnosed with the disease.
Episodes of low blood sugar level (hypoglycemia) are
There are no episodes of low blood sugar level, unless the
person is taking insulin or certain oral diabetes medicines.
It cannot be prevented.
It can be prevented or delayed with a healthy lifestyle,
including maintaining a healthy weight, eating sensibly, and exercising
How are they alike?
Both types of diabetes greatly increase a person's risk for a range of
serious complications. Although monitoring and management of the disease can
prevent complications, diabetes remains the leading cause of blindness and
kidney failure. It also continues to be a critical risk factor for heart
disease, stroke, and foot or leg amputations.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2008). National Diabetes Fact Sheet 2007. Atlanta: U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services. Available online: