insulin to survive and rely on insulin injections for life. In type 2 diabetes, the body is not responding well to the insulin produced and therefore glucose does not get properly absorbed by the cells in the body. We can use pills and/or insulin to improve blood glucose control for patients with type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes in its origin relates very much to lifestyle and heredity. Many factors, including the body's own antibodies may be responsible for beta cell destruction in type 1 diabetes. The role of heredity in the origins of type 1 diabetes is less clear.
Type 1 dm is due to the absolute loss of the pancreatic beta cells which produce insulin these people must use insulin to treat the disease. It can occur at any age but usually occurs in young people. The inheritance pattern is different in that it is not passed down from grandparents to parents to child to siblings as in type 2. Type 1 diabetics may not have any relatives with the disease or there may be some distant relatives with the illness.
Type 2 dm is due to the slow deterioration of the beta cell (insulin producing cell) over time and insulin resistance which is the inability of tissues of the body to dispose of glucose (sugar). This could be due to genetics but generally is due to obesity with fat in tissues interfering with the insulin tissue disposal mechanism of glucose metabolism. The similarities of both diseases relate to complications if the sugar level is not controlled such as eye, nerve, kidney tissue damage as well as cardiovascular problems.
Treatments differ in that type 1 patients require insulin immediately while type 2 patients can receive oral hypoglycemic agents til the disease progresses and they need insulin or other injectables.
Marvin A Leder MD FACP FACE