As diabetes continues to be a growing concern for many Americans, education is one of the most effective tools for management. Do you know the differences between the two types of diabetes?

What exactly does “type 1” and “type 2” mean? Use this blog post to educate yourself or send it to friends and family members who don’t quite know the difference!

Diabetes Defined

Diabetes means that blood glucose (or blood sugar) is too high. Insulin is responsible for delivering blood sugar to the body’s cells for energy. Sugar remains in the blood when it can’t be delivered to the cells, resulting in diabetes.

The different types differentiate the most when it comes to the different circumstances that lead to diabetes.

Type 1 vs. Type 2

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), type 1 and type 2 diabetes differ on several key points:

Type 1

  • Formerly called “juvenile diabetes,” type 1 is usually diagnosed early in life.
  • Type 1 diabetes results because the beta cells of the pancreas have been attacked and destroyed by the body’s immune system and they no longer produce insulin.
  • Treatment often includes injections of insulin or other medications, along with maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.

Type 2

  • Formerly called “adult-onset diabetes,” type 2 can develop at any stage in life and it is the most common form of diabetes.
  • Diabetes results from insulin resistance caused by malfunctioning muscle, liver, and fat cells. The pancreas usually begins producing more insulin, but eventually it can’t keep up.
  • Treatment often includes medication along with maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.

It’s important to note that there are other kinds of diabetes as well, such as gestational diabetes, which can occur during pregnancy, or latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA).

We Can Help

Despite the different causes of diabetes, the treatments are often similar: a combination of medication and living a healthy lifestyle. At Iowa Diabetes, we offer many different kinds of support for managing diabetes! We provide education via our blog and other resources, we offer community support, and we are very proud of our diabetes portal.

The Iowa Diabetes Portal is free to all Iowans. Managing diabetes of any type can be a struggle, and we hope that you’ll be able to use the Iowa Diabetes Portal to help you in your daily life. Please visit our website today for more information.



There are many differences between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Along with effective treatment and education, Iowa Diabetes has the resources to help you manage whatever type of diabetes you have!

Disclaimer Statement: This is for educational purposes only and not intended as medical advice. For individual medical advice, contact your healthcare practitioner.