Differences between Type 1 and 2 diabetes

A healthy diet and regular physical activity can help prevent Type 2 diabetes.
A healthy diet and regular physical activity can help prevent Type 2 diabetes.PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO

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

  • Join a trial for Type 2 diabetes

  • The National University Hospital wants to find out why it takes years for some people to develop diabetes, while for others, it may take a few months.

    It is looking for volunteers for its large-scale study of how Type 2 diabetes develops.

    Those who want to be part of the study can call 8782-3082 or 8858-5846 during office hours or send an e-mail to brite_spot@nuhs.edu.sg

    Participants must be between 30 and 65 years of age, and be generally healthy with no history of diabetes or other chronic conditions requiring long- term medication.

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.

Lester Wong

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'. Print Edition | Subscribe