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Diabetes Types and Treatments Explained

Published On Oct 30, 2020

According to NCBI data, India is all set to reach the 80 million mark in diabetes patients by 2030. A fair understanding of diabetes, its types, and treatments may help us take necessary steps to deal with this disease which often strikes slowly and silently. 

What are Type-1 and Type-2 Diabetes?

Generally, diabetes is considered to be of two types - type 1 and type 2. In medical terms, there are other types as well like gestational, neonatal, diabetes as a result of other diseases or showing partial similarities with either type 1 or 2 or both. There is a new type of 3C diabetes identified as well. For the sake of simplicity, let us look at type 1 and type 2 only, as this broad classification is widely understood by common people.

Type 1 diabetes is less common at around 10%, whereas type 2 is the most common at around 90%. Type 1 diabetes was earlier known as juvenile diabetes due to its prevalence in children whereas Type 2 was considered as adult-onset diabetes due to its prevalence in adults. However, in recent times, Type 2 diabetes is common among children with obesity. 

In Type 1 diabetes, the human immune system triggers killing of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas due to autoimmune disorder. This makes it difficult for the pancreas to produce enough insulin. 

In Type 2 diabetes, the human body is not able to regulate insulin properly, either due to less insulin being produced by the pancreas or due to the resistance to insulin developed by the body.  

Similar Symptoms of Type-1 and Type-2 Diabetes

Sometimes, the symptoms of both diabetes types are similar. Feeling thirsty often, or hungry even after having a meal, etc. could be an indication of either diabetes type. 

It is important to consult a doctor and get diagnosed correctly. The treatment will depend on the type of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes in the early stages, when it is in the prediabetes stage, can still be managed or treated without medication, by switching to a healthier lifestyle. Treatment for Type 1 may have to be through insulin therapy only. 

Treatment for Type-1 and Type-2 Diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is usually treated with insulin whereas Type 2 treatment consists of medication to regulate the insulin already being produced by the body. When this doesn’t work, insulin treatment becomes necessary for Type 2 diabetes as well. 

Medications for Type 2 diabetes are usually required to perform one or more of the following:

  • Increase Insulin production
  • Decrease Insulin resistance
  • Decrease glucose production from the liver

One should only take these medicines based on doctor’s advice.

As mentioned earlier, when the medications fail to work, additional insulin would need to be provided externally to the body. This can be administered through injections or special “pens” that cause less pain when used daily. 


Diabetes can be complicated when it progresses beyond prediabetic levels (Type 2). It is painful for young children living with diabetes from an early age (Type 1) as this is a chronic condition and impacts healthy living. Thus, it is important that the slow signals given by the body are noted timely and acted upon. Proper diet, exercise, and medication can help manage diabetes and allow healthy, normal living.

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Disclaimer: This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.

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