It is not easy to know immediately if a person has type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Sometimes people with type 2 diabetes appear as if they have type 1 diabetes.
For example, a young and thin person may have very high glucose levels. Insulin is used first to bring down the glucose level.
If the person starts to experience hypoglycemia ( low blood glucose levels ) and the glucose remains in the normal range most of the time , it may be possible to stop injecting insulin and use an oral hypoglycaemic agent.
If the levels rise again then it is diagnosed as type 1 daibetes and insulin is required.
The management of diabetes should be to achieve target blood glucose levels no matter which type the person has. The strategy should be to get the blood glucose to target levels.
If changes in lifestyle can achieve the target levels, then medication is not needed at this stage.
The table below gives a comparison of type 1 and type 2 diabetes
|Table 3: Features of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes .|
|Type 1 Diabetes||Type 2 Diabetes|
|Description||Absolute insulin deficiency ( little or no insulin produced by pancreas )||Pancreas not making enough insulin or cells not using insulin properly|
|DM cases percentage||5-10%||90-95%|
|Age of onset||< 30 years||40 -65 yrs ( recently occurring in children and young adults )|
|Oral medication||No||Yes ( at the initial stages)|
|Requires Insulin||Yes||Usually not in the initial stages. But later insulin is needed|
|Symptoms|| Symptoms are dramatic and appear suddenly|| Symptoms appear slowly|