Find out the difference here. By Lester Wong
Photo: udra / www.123rf.com
PEOPLE AT RISK
Type 1 diabetes most commonly presents in childhood and young adulthood. A family history puts a person at a slightly higher risk. Type 2 diabetes tends to occur in older people, above 40 years of age, especially those who are obese.
TYPE 2 DIABETES MORE COMMON THAN TYPE 1
Over 90 per cent of the 400,000 diabetes cases here are Type 2, according to the 2010 national health survey.
TYPE 2 DIABETES CAN BE PREVENTED, BUT NOT TYPE 1
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Life-long insulin replacement is needed. Type 2 diabetes is associated with weight gain or obesity, leading to resistance to insulin. Long-term insulin replacement is needed only in more severe cases.
“Maintaining a healthy weight through healthy eating and regular physical activity can help prevent Type 2 diabetes,” said Dr Daphne Gardner, a consultant at the Singapore General Hospital’s department of endocrinology.
ONSET OF SYMPTOMS
Both types of diabetes are marked by high glucose levels in the blood. Symptoms include thirst and frequent urination, weight loss, fatigue and recurrent infections. Symptoms for Type 2 diabetes may not show up until the glucose levels are very high. The onset of symptoms for Type 1 diabetes can be abrupt, sometimes happening over a matter of weeks.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 15, 2016, with the headline ‘Differences between Type 1 and 2 diabetes‘.