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About Diabetes

Types of diabetes

Diabetes is a condition in which your body doesn’t properly process food for energy. Most of the food you eat is turned into glucose (sugar) for your body to use as energy. The pancreas, an organ near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin. Insulin helps control glucose levels, and it helps move glucose from your bloodstream to your muscles and liver cells, where it’s stored and used as energy. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin, or it can’t use its insulin as well as it should.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes occurs when a person’s autoimmune system attacks the cells of the pancreas that produce insulin. While we don’t yet understand all the triggers that can cause this reaction, we do have knowledge and resources to treat it. Type 1 diabetes occurs most frequently in children and young adults. However, it can occur in people of all ages, races, shapes and sizes. There is nothing that could have been done to prevent it and those with type 1 diabetes should feel no shame in having it. Parkview’s Diabetes Services team can work closely with you to provide the education and resources you need to thrive while living with type 1 diabetes.

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Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a disease that develops when the body’s tissues cannot use insulin properly to absorb the glucose it needs for energy. As a result, the body increases the amount of insulin being produced to ensure the body has enough to access the glucose. Eventually the pancreas is exhausted, and the production of insulin decreases, resulting in further increase in blood glucose levels.

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What are the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?

There are many differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. But in both types of diabetes, blood sugar levels get too high. This increases the risk for complications, such as blindness and kidney failure. For both diseases, treatment focuses on keeping blood sugar levels within a target range to help prevent long-term complications.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes

What occurs:

The body's immune system destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. In time, the pancreas stops making insulin. Without insulin, cells can't absorb sugar (glucose), which they need to produce energy.

The body isn't able to use insulin the right way. This is called insulin resistance. As type 2 diabetes gets worse, the pancreas may make less and less insulin. This is called insulin deficiency.

Age when it starts:

Symptoms usually start in childhood or young adulthood.

It can develop at any age. It's usually discovered in adulthood. But the number of children with type 2 diabetes is rising.


People often seek medical help because they are seriously ill from sudden symptoms of high blood sugar.

People may not have symptoms before diagnosis.

Low blood sugar episodes:

Episodes of low blood sugar level (hypoglycemia) are common.

There are no episodes of low blood sugar level, unless the person is taking insulin or certain diabetes medicines.

How common:

Type 1 accounts for 5 to 10 out of 100 people who have diabetes.

Type 2 accounts for the vast majority of people who have diabetes—90 to 95 out of 100 people.


It can't be prevented.

It can be prevented or delayed with a healthy lifestyle. This includes staying at a healthy weight, eating sensibly, and exercising regularly.

Explore weight management options

Take a step in managing your diabetes and explore weight management and bariatric surgery options today.

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