How serious is type 2 diabetes? Is it more serious than type 1 diabetes?

36 answers | Last updated: Oct 09, 2017
A fellow caregiver asked...

How serious is type 2 diabetes, and is it less or more serious than type 1 diabetes? My mom, just diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, keeps it under control without taking insulin. So is type 2 diabetes less of a problem than insulin-dependent type 1?

Expert Answers

Theresa Garnero is clinical nurse manager of Diabetes Services at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.

No, definitely not. In fact, in some ways type 2 diabetes is a more serious disorder because your mom may have had it for years before she was diagnosed. So she may well have developed some of the long-term, debilitating complications linked to the condition without knowing it.

In addition, since type 2 diabetes is a progressive disorder without a cure, over time her body may not be able to produce insulin or use it as well as it does now, and she may wind up needing insulin injections or pills.

A person with type1 diabetes ignores it for a day at his own peril. He'll likely end up in the emergency room because his body can't absorb glucose without a continuous supply of insulin via injection or an insulin pump. People with type 1 diabetes typically develop such severe symptoms over a short time in childhood or early adulthood that they're forced to deal with it.

Type 2 diabetes is a sneakier condition: Its harmful health effects can slowly build for years until full-blown complications, such as vision loss, heart disease, or foot problems, make it impossible to ignore. Plus it often comes with its own set of problems. For instance, people with type 2 diabetes are frequently diagnosed with high blood pressure and cholesterol along with high blood sugar. This damaging threesome can lead to progressive thickening of the arteries and reduced blood flow, putting your mom at greater risk for a slew of complications including heart disease, stroke, and nerve damage. If your mom is overweight as well, particularly if she's carrying excess pounds around her middle, she's at even greater risk of getting heart disease.

So while calibrating insulin dosages from an early age is no walk in the park for folks with type 1 diabetes, you can see that potential chronic complications and co-existing medical conditions make type 2 diabetes challenging to deal with as well. This doesn't mean your mother can't manage the condition; it just means she needs to do everything she can to safeguard her health.

Community Answers

Maybedog answered...

Tracy31, the only reason she is saying it could be more serious is because it can go undiagnosed for much longer and people who have it don't take care of it because of the belief it isn't as serious and the lack of immediate consequences. (The NIH says a fourth of those with Type 2 don't even know it let alone treat it.) Since it goes untreated, those complications you describe happen without warning. Those who don't know can lose a food due to nerve damage before they are even diagnosed.

Your reinforcing this inaccuracy is only making it worse.

Both types are EXACTLY the same in seriousness as they result in the same effect on the body: blood glucose that is too high. (Type 1 folks don't have any insulin and Type 2 can't use the insulin that they have.) This results in the exact same complications including nerve damage which can lead to losing your feet, blindness, kidney disease, etc.

The reason most people thing Type 1 is more serious is because someone can die within a very short time from very low blood sugar. However, this is not caused by the diabetes but by the treatment: insulin. People with Type 2 diabetes who are on insulin or on any of the drugs that start with G have the same possibility of almost sudden drop in blood sugar and resulting death. It is exactly the same.

90-95% of American diabetics have Type 2. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), 15 percent of diabetics will develop a foot ulcer (an open sore on the foot), and between 14 percent and 24 percent of that group will require some type of amputation. You do the math. ALL diabetics are at risk for nerve damage.

The myth that Type 1 is more serious or that Type 2 is solely caused by lifestyle issues is not only offensive but dangerous. According to the ADA, Type 2 diabetes is genetic as well. Lifestyle factors can affect whether someone develops diabetes sooner rather than later or at all, however most people who are overweight do not get the disease and lot of people who are thin develop diabetes.

In short: Type 1 and Type 2 have the same risk level for complications and therefore, in general, are equally serious.

Type1diabetic answered...

Right, i am a type 1 diabetic and because i have type 1 diabetes i am not just saying that it is more dangerous, but the truth is that it is. Regarding Theresa Garnero's answer about the complications that type 2 diabetics can pick up, Type 1 diabetics can pick up these complications a whole lot easier if diabetes is not handled in the appropriate way. Type 2 diabetics can pick up these complications but not as quick as type 2 diabetes is a whole lot easier to control.

I do think that type 1 diabetes is a more severe case only because of the injections and the way that they are handled. If a type 1 diabetic does not do their injection then as soon as they go to sleep, about an hour later they will be in a coma and no one will know about it until the don't wake up. They will be taken to intensive care and be put on a drip. I know about this because this has happened to me.

So Melanie i do think that type 1 diabetes is more dangerous but to be honest they are both as bad as eachother if no handled in an appropriate way.


A fellow caregiver answered...

excuse me, but in truth, you are VERY wrong. its really annoying actually. Type 1 diabetes is so much more dangerous and deadly. Type 1 can go unnoticed for years, i wasnt diagnosed until i was 11 and ive had it all my life, it wasnt as serious before but the doctor said that if i went one more week without diagnosis i would have died. type 1 can have all of those complications and so much more. Type 2 doesnt have to take insulin injections 5 times a day. type 2 doesnt have to test as much. type 2 CAN BE CURED. so dont even try to act like it is more serious Teresa Garnero, and i dont mean to be rude or anything in any way, it just kind of ticks me off. sorry, but whoever told you type2 was more serious was DEAD WRONG. we can die with one day of carelessness.

Mhall47685 answered...

I've been a type 1 diabetic since i was 16 and it is far more serious. Type 2 is caused most commonly by people who are overweight and who do not take care of themselves. The very thought that someone who takes a oral diabetic medication has it worse than someone who needs insulin to live is idiotic. I dare any type 2 to take a walk in my shoes or any other type 1 diabetics shoes. Type 1 diabetes is a disease where you're pancreas doesn't produce anymore insulin so you need insulin to live. Type 2 is when someone isn't producing enough insulin so they have to take a oral medication, and this is most commonly caused by someone who's overweight. Maybe if that person watched their weight and exercised they would'nt be in that situation.

Maybedog answered...

Anonymous, while I don't agree that Type 2 is more serious you are VERY wrong and it's really annoying actually. I don't mean to be rude, either, but it kind of ticks me off, too. But I will address your specific concerns below. Type 2 can go unnoticed for years, too. Mhall, you're wrong about what Type 2 diabetes is (most Type 2 diabetics actually produce plenty of insulin but just can't use it) and it's cause (which I'll get to in a minute.) The reality is that both causes result in too much sugar in the blood. I do agree that insulin is very scary, but Type 2 diabetics often have to take it as well. Neither of you bothered to read my post about Type 2 and insulin.

Type1diabetic, your argument is the most persuasive. Type 2 diabetics can go into a diabetic coma as well ( but it definitely isn't as common. The reality is that blood sugar that is too high can cause a coma. Most Type 2 diabetics are able to process some of the glucose but there are some who can't process hardly any which means they, too, need to take insulin and can go into a coma if they don't.

BOTTOM LINE: SERIOUSNESS OF THE DISEASE IS NOT THE SAME THING AS THE DANGER OF THE TREATMENT. It's like saying lung cancer isn't as serious as brain cancer because it can possibly be more successfully treated with less dangerous things than chemotherapy. Tell that to the people who die from lung cancer every year.


Many Type 2 diabetics don't discover they are diabetic until they end up in the hospital or die from diabetes complications, which I think is the author's point.

Here is just one story I found on the web: "I have witnessed [blood sugar too high] with my husband (luckily he pulled out of his coma) when he was must take your shots. Please take care of husband and I are vegetarian, regardless of the low amount of carbs, you can run into problems."

That was a type 2 diabetic who was diagnosed because he went into a coma. That's not serious?

Type 2 diabetes CANNOT BE CURED any more than Type 1 can. It doesn't even go into remission like cancer. The difference is that symptoms can go away IN SOME PEOPLE if they lose weight and eat healthy. If they stop eating healthy, even before they regain weight, they will begin to have symptoms again. Their bodies still do not process sugar as efficiently as a non-diabetic and they have to be careful. Many type 2 diabetics are lucky in that they can stave off diabetes symptoms until they are much older by taking care of themselves.

MANY TYPE 2 DIABETICS HAVE TO TAKE INSULIN shots several times a day, including one of my closest friends. So as I said before, THE ONLY TREATMENT for Type 1 diabetes is far more dangerous than the more common treatments for Type 1. Absolutely, and I would not want that burden. But to believe that only Type 1 diabetics have to take insulin is erroneous and ignorant. I also know a Type 1 diabetic who doesn't take his insulin shots as regularly as he should. I know Type 1 diabetics who eat like crap thinking (incorrectly) they can just take insulin to get their blood glucose levels on track and Type 2 diabetics who have to watch every single thing that goes in their mouths because Metformin will never cause low blood sugar so there is nothing to even out the highs. I know a type 2 diabetic who refuses to take insulin even though the doctor has prescribed it because she's terrified of dying suddenly. She refuses to acknowledge that she could die suddenly if she doesn't. Even if that doesn't happen, she will probably will be dead within a few years, dead of complications due to TYPE 2 diabetes.

The problem is that many Type 1 diabetics believe the media hype and don't bother to educate themselves about all forms of the disease. Diabetes is NOT caused by being overweight. Being overweight exacerbates the symptoms so that someone who might not develop symptoms until later will develop them earlier. That is why we are seeing people younger and younger getting it when it used to be called late-onset diabetes colloquially. The obesity "epidemic" is causing people who would show symptoms later in life to show symptoms now. The primary cause of diabetes is genetics and two genetic lines that have high rates of diabetes, Latinos and African Americans have increasing populations in North America. Hispanics are the fastest growing racial group in the US. The US has the highest incidence of diabetes in the world and Mexico has the second largest. If you go to Mexico, further south than the border, you won't see many obese Mexicans--they are far too poor.

I recently took a diabetes education class for Type 2 diabetics and of the 8 people in it, only one was overweight. ONE. That means almost 88% of the people in the class were of a normal body weight. Only two were elderly. That means that 5 or 62.5% of the class were young, thin people. But I asked anyway and the teachers said that the claim that it is a disease of obesity is ridiculous. Most obese people do not have Type 2 diabetes and plenty of thin people do.

Yepididthat answered...

My boyfriend has Type 1 diabetes and I was hoping to find out if there are better ways he can control his disease. I have been nagging him to eat better foods that will help to keep his blood sugar from spiking high and low. At least I have learned in here that it is his insulin shot at night that is causing his low blood sugar in the morning. But to see people arguing about which type is more dangerous was very disconcerting. Like I have told my boyfriend, shame on you if you are not taking special care to control your diabetes as much as possible. I have Multiple Sclerosis and I have a numb left foot and weak leg. I have lost most of my eyesight in one eye all from the MS. I was told this is what can happen to diabetics if they are not controlling their disease. I can't control the MS, I can't stop it from getting worse, and that is the only thing that is for sure with MS, it will get worse. Take control of your diabetes as best you can. Don't let the disease take away from you for shame on you if it does and you just let it happen.

Type1withasmile answered...

I have Type I as well. I was diagnosed from a coma and nearly died. Type I can kill you not only from the treatment, but from the disease itself. If we do not inject ourselves with insulin every single day multiple times.... we will most certainly die. That is a fact... period! There is So much "hoopla" about type 2 out there right now and I'm sure that it is important to make people aware of the risks of Type 2 because it is becoming very prominant. But it should really in no way be compared to Type 1.

Type 1 is a daily death threat and there is nothing that can change that for us. Type 2 patients have a much larger range of choices for managing the disease and it isn't serious when controlled. Type 1 is always serious, even when controlled. It just isn't predictable no matter how much you try.

Saying that Type 2 is more serious is insulting. Just because a person does not know that they have a condition does not mean it is more serious in terms of a disease. Just because a person does not take care of themselves does not mean that the disease itself should be regarded as a more serious condition.

If a person with Type 1 and a person with Type 2 were sitting in the ER, there is no doubt that the Type 1 person should be dealt with first. Absolutely! Always! the Type 2's I know don't even both to check their blood every day. And then they cry about going blind. I check my blood at least 10 times a day and everything I do revolves around trying to keep it in control. For a person with Type 1, everything we do involves considering our blood sugar and insulin. I do not know one single Type 2 that puts that much time and thought into controlling their disease. Honestly, I would give almost anything if I could control my diabetes by getting a little exercise and losing a little weight and maybe popping a couple of pills.

Type 1 and Type 2 should really just never be compared to one another. They just are not even in the same realm. I seriously wish someone would have just given the two diseases different names because they really are not the same, no matter how hard the medical profession tries to make them the same. I don't know who the person is who wrote this article, but this mentality is the reason that Type 1's are getting so angry. Seriously, give us a break. We did not eat ourselves into this condition and we fight each and every day to live with it. Show us a little respect please!

Type1withasmile answered...

Ps - maybedog... The "web article" that you referenced about the lady whose husband went into a coma from Type 2.. was probably Type 1.5 or possibly because he was a vegetarian. Do you know what causes DKA? It is extremely rare for a person with Type 2 to develop DKA.

There are a lot of conditions and diseases that develop from lifestyle choices and health habits. A lot of them are serious and I have empathy for persons with Type 2. But, I think the thing that makes a person like me with Type 1 so angry is that everyone is constantly comparing Type 1 and Type 2 because they share the same name "diabetes". But they are not the same disease. They are in fact two completely different diseases and people just need to stop comparing us. It just isn't a fair comparison. Its like comparing a deep cut that maybe needs a few stitches to a gunshot wound. They both need attention, but the cut is only going to kill you slowly and cause a messy infection and some pain, the gunshot wound will kill you for sure, very quickly. Please everyone just stop comparing us. Please... Please... it gives me high blood sugar!

Diabetes passion answered...

I have been a type 1 diabeticfor over 25 years and have 50% of my kidney fuction left. I also believe that I also was undiagnosed with the disese for many years. My understanding of the problem is this. A type 2 diabetic produces some insulin but not enough to service all the cells in his body, A type 1 does not and has to try to control the autonomic function manually by making judgements with diet, exercise and injections! This is a far taller order, A type 1 has nothing to work with. Its like a car with no brakes, Type 1 and a car with some brakes. Type 2. Type 2 has some insulin, type 1 has none. Please read on. I am have been very passionate about this my whole life. The insulin is a sort of "key" to allow glucose to enter your cells for energy. If you dont have enough "keys" glucose levels are high in your blood. Just like dirty oil in your car affecting its parts and causing them to wear out prematurely. High glucose levels cause inner workings of the body to wear out prematurely, giving the diabetic a shorter lifespan. High glucose level blood is the body's dirty oil. These are blunt facts. If a type 2 diabetic who is overweight loses weight it results in less cells to service and thusly regain good blood sugar levels by losing weight. The pancreas, which produces the insulin, which is a limited amount in a type 2, can be more easily managed I believe. ISN'T IT BETTER TO BE ABLE TO HAVE SOME INSULIN TYPE 2 THAN NONE IN TYPE 1?? TYPE 1 NEEDS MORE ATTENTION GIVEN TO IT. LIFESTYLE CHANGES ARE MUCH EASIER FOR A TYPE 2 THAN A TYPE 1!! THAT IS THE BOTTOM LINE!

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Mommy 1235 answered...

Lets state some facts:

Type 2 Diabetes is Typically found in adults over 40 years of age and who are overweight.

Type 1 Diabetes is Typically found in children who are of average size or thin.

Type 2 Diabetes can be prevented through living a healthy lifestyle and/or regular check ups with your doctor.

Type 1 Diabetes CAN NOT be prevented!!!!!

Type 2 Diabetes can be easily controlled and managed and even sometimes be completely reversed with maintaining a healthy diet and exercise plan, and in some cases medication.

Type 1 Diabetes can be and often is ( Especially in young children ) hard to manage and can NEVER be reversed.

Type 2 Diabetes is Typically caused my YEARS of an unhealthy lifestyle.

Type 1 Diabetes is caused by the immune system attacking the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas and destroying them.

Type 2 Diabetes onset is gradual over a course of many years. Years you have to get proper test done by your doctor to help prevent it.

Type 1 Diabetes onset is very sudden, like over night sudden, and as stated above, CAN NOT be prevented.

Type 2 Diabetics Typically only use insulin if they have let themselves get to that point

Type 1 Diabetics have to inject insulin multiple times a day in order to STAY ALIVE!!!!

Now that I have stated some facts, I like to share that I personally know and love people with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes.

My Mother ( Type 2 ) Was told by her doctor that with proper diet and exercise and occasionally medication, she can completely reverse it. My Father ( Type 2 ) Was told by his doctor for years that he was heading down the road that would lead to diabetes and needed to change his lifestyle, He didn't and now has diabetes, so his COULD have been prevented. My Grandfather ( Type 2) Easily managed and maintained good health through proper diet and exercise. And never developed complications. My Mothers friend and coworker ( Type 2 ) I have see eats what she wants, when she wants, however much she wants and it lands her in the hospital every other week due to HER OWN actions. My Mother in-law ( Type 2 ) Was legally blind and had to have her legs amputated before passing away due a VERY poor lifestyle. All of which stated above were also diagnosed in the comfort of their family doctors office.

My son- 4 years old ( Type 1/Juvenile Diabetes ) Was diagnosed at the end of July. Were we went to the doctor and she sent us to our local children's hospital immediately. Were they pinned him down and gave him an IV and started drawing blood and poking his fingers. Were he was terrified not understanding why all of these people he didn't know kept on continuously poking him, and why Mommy wouldn't make them stop. Were we spent four days getting a monumental amount of information shoved at me, which as a parent you better understand in the few days you have to understand it because your child's life depends on it. Then when coming home having to have EVERYONE completely change their life style. When we eat, sleep, play, Etc"¦ I have seen the difference first had in Type 1 and Type 2. The difference between my mom taking a pill because she ate over her set amount of carbs compared to me having to give my son a shot when all he had was a bowl of cereal because his life depends on that shot. The difference between my mom checking her blood sugar because she had an extra cookie and just wants to make sure compared to me having to poke my sons tiny little fingers 8 to 10 times a day because his life depends on that checking. The difference in watching my dad sneak an extra piece of birthday cake so my son wont see because I had to tell my son No seconds because it wasn't a scheduled time to eat, because his life depends on that schedule. The difference between my parents having a common cold but other than that being fine compared to my son having a common cold and it pushing him towards ketoacidosis because Type 1's bodies don't respond well to being sick. I have seen the difference in how a simple walk around the block can effect them. With my parents just being winded trying to get fit and my son shaky and loopy because even though I carbed him up for the exercise, on that particular day it just wasn't enough and he dropped. I have seen how Type 2 diabetics can afford to slip every now and then. Not check their blood sugar, or eat an extra cookie or forget to take a pill compared to me not being able to afford to slip up because it could cost my son his life.

I think that many people have a hard time understanding because they either know one or the other. I know and am very close to both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. And based off of personal experience alone I would say that Type 1 is FAR more serious. But adding months of research and studying I have put in, in the hope of one day becoming a Juvenile Diabetes Educator, it only makes my opinion on the matter stronger. And everyone in my life who is Type 2 shares my opinion after witnessing the differences first handed. And I only listed SOME of those difference.

As stated above Type 2 Diabetes can TYPICALLY be prevented, managed or even sometimes reversed through proper diet and exercise and sometimes medication. Were as Type 1 Diabetes can only be managed and even then its like the disease has a mind of its own on some days no matter how hard you try.

Statistics say that Type 2 is more severe because it affects 90% of all diabetics in America. However another statistic is that 70% of Americas population is overweight. Maybe that has something to do with the diabetic statistics.

I'm not by any means saying Type 2 is not serious. Just that with hard work and dedication to maintaining a proper lifestyle, it Typically doesn't have to be. And that there is a big difference in adults having to live a certain way, and a child having to endure a certain way of life.

I hope I didn't offend anyone. I just wanted to state some facts and my personal experience to help settle the score on "What's the difference?" and to help spread Juvenile Diabetes Awareness. If anyone would also like to help spread awareness I have recently created a Facebook page dedicated to that purpose. The page is named Juvenile Diabetes Awareness and the picture states the name and has a gray and red butterfly. Or you can contact me on Facebook - Aubrey Bellaire - and I can send you a direct invite to the page. The more awareness we spread the closer we get to finding a cure.

And for all the Type 2 Diabetics, I'm guessing if they find a cure for Type 1 then it could help forever stop Type 2 as well, so please join us in our fight to find a cure for this awful illness.

Thank You

Paulzpc answered...

I have type 2 Diabetes and at the time I was diagnosed I had a great body I was in shape rode a bike to work 8 miles a day for 4 days a week, one day I was sick after a coke and a fast food meal that I had I was very sick fever, I thought it was the flu , and peeing every 20 mins I let this slide for two weeks when I was not getting any better I went off to the ER , now I have to take Insulin shots twice a day and keep on working hard both physically and mentally, and test twice a day to control my sugar but here's the kicker I have gained weight , I do believe that type 1 is worst than type 2 my doctor told me it was and from what I read I feel am blessed I don't have type 1 , I feel sorry for all of you suffering from it

A fellow caregiver answered...

I know that type 2 diabetes may cause serious problems and can lead to serious consequences and should be treated aggressively but as a type 1 diabetic for 51 years I don't like to be labeled in the same category as type 2 diabetics. Even though there is a distinction between the two in reality when the press and public speak about diabetes they generally label it all as one disease and I take exception to that. While some type 2's do need insulin the vast majority do not. All type 1's do and if they don't most are dead within a short time something that can't be said of most type 2's. Also, many type 2's through a change in lifestyle such as losing weight or altering their diets can greatly improve or even eliminate the disease. Again, something you can't say for type 1's. I appreciate the discovery of insulin without which I would have been dead a half century ago and actually feel insulted when I am compared to someone who through a faulty diet has type 2 diabetes and I think that there should be a complete distinction between the two forms of the disease for people to made made aware of the differences between the two.

Serena type 1 answered...

the biggest difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetics, is that a person with type 2 can easily cure themselves, simply by losing weight and eating right, a type 1 diabetic cannot ever cure themselves because type 1 is a genetic disorder passed to you through your genes, type 2 on the other hand is caused because the body cant take any more of what is being done to it via bad diet and not maintaining a healthy weight!!

Another type 1 answered...

i would like all type two diabebetics to imagine the situation, your 11 years old you dont know what happening to your body, you become very thin and you begin to get agressive, your parents put it down to your age and your just being a 'teenager' but the truth is your developing a life threatening condition. your agression pushes your friends away, and you dont know what is happening to your self. your confused, now at eleven yours old you get taken to the G.P where your mum wants to get you to see a doctor to see why you've been having chronic stomch pains and been throwing up, the doctor cuts your hand to make you bleed and tells you that you need to be rudhed into hospital by amulance, at this point you have no idea whats happening the doctor hasnt explained anything, you end up on a childrens hospital ward surrounded by ill children and get taken into the ICU, still nobody has explained anything and the severity of what is happenig to you hasnt sunk in yet, tubes and canulars are everwhere, your mum and dad are crying, you think your dying. your whole life is now changed and nothing you can do can change is back you get told about diabebetes and you know for the rest of your life you're never going to be the same person. your child hood as been taken away as you come to realise that you now have to have responsability and you have to start acting like and adult. you'rer kept in hospital for a week. five years on and you still havent got good controll doctors are telling you that you need to do what your told or your not even going to see old age or even be able to have children, im sorry but i think type 1.

A fellow caregiver answered...

WOW! I've sat here and read all the answers to the question "Is type 2 diabetes as serious as type 1?" and I'm shocked at some of them! It's almost like My illness is worse than yours na na na na naaaa.
I guess I can understand some of the type 1's being upset that they're being thrown into a category with an illness they don't believe to be as bad as theirs or having to deal with as much as they have to deal with. But lets be real here....if you have either one, type 1 or type's a big deal to the person that has it and both can cause MAJOR complications and yes, even result in death if not treated! So what if the person that has type 2 diabetes has it because of a previously unhealthy lifestyle...the point is, they have it now. Yes, I'm a type 2 diabetic. And yes, I'm VERY thankful I'm not a type 1 diabetic! But the point is...type 2 can be as dangerous as type 1 if NOT treated and if the type 2 diabetic doesn't make MAJOR lifestyle changes to control it. It can't be reversed!! Once you're a're a diabetic even if you control it with diet only. Do I think type 1 diabetes is harder to live with than type 2? YES!! But PLEASE, don't make light of type 2 when someone just diagnosed could read and think they don't have to be diligent in the care of themselves and their lifestyle changes because that would be a big mistake.

Slsean answered...

The bottom line is that type 1 is more immediately dangerous and lethal than type 2. It just is, doesn't make it better or worse, pancreatic cancer will kill most patients faster than leukemia, it doesn't mean it's better or worse, just a fact.

A fellow caregiver answered...

I have read all the posts of this site and quite frankly type 1 v type 2 is absolutely ridiculous. It is a nasty illness that leads to very serious and life threatening conditions no matter what. The general jist seems to be type 2 bring it on themselves by lifestyle choices.

I'm type 2 and rediagnosed as type 1 and I did not bring it on myself. Many family members are diabetics. I'm not fat or overweight, I eat healthily and exercise and made every effort to do what I could. Did it stop it - no. I take insulin 5 times a day, as well as taking several oral medications, and it still won't stay controlled (no do not miss any doses). I have been in hospital with ketoacidosis. I pretty much have most of the neuropathy's going particularly the one that affects the heart, plus facing amputation of the leg as well as stage 4 CKD.

Perhaps rather than face off who is worse, which is pathetic, shouldn't we unite and help each other.

Being type 2 then 1 made no difference to the end result. Still have serious complications which will kill me.

T1dmom8 answered...

I am the mom of a 17yr old type 1 Diabetic diagnosed 51/2yrs ago after just turning 12. I am ALSO the wife of a type 2 diabetic husband diagnosed Mother's Day weekend of last year......I am continually saddened actions and reactions and information verses myths about Diabetes in general. We are only 1 family going through this, however have experience Both diseases and all they entail. It is true- they are similar in that there is a sugar problem(pancreas I should say). However-everything from diagnosis to feelings to "support" or lack of it to general information out there and prejudice and ignorance and rudeness. When my daughter was diagnosed, she lost weight rapidly and people " presumed" she was a bulemic(she was only 12- not that that cannot happen but she had confidence- things were well for her...etc.) These same "loving" people (people we have known-been in our lives for 30yrs-even family) have turned on us. When my husband was diagnosed with type 2 we told noone! We had already experienced prejudice and rudeness with type 1(which is an autoimmune disease that is unpreventable), there was no way were going to set ourselves up for more. He has diabetes and was not obese when he was diagnosed(which is the 1ST thing people think of- your fat/lazy/eat candy and junk all day). This is simply NOT true. If anything, we had been eating healthier than ever before. It is an injustice to ALL diabetics the information that is out there,and the media is partly to blame. The complications are serious for BOTH diseases- however, my daughter is 17 and HEAVILY active in sports. It is wonderful for her and at the same time not only is it murder on me as her mother(repeated 3a.m. blood sugar tests- and before anymore "well meaning" people tell me-we know about the pump and we know about the CGM(contiunous glucose monitors)-have had some issues with them and for time being- I am her "pancreas"). Mostly 9 month treks of 3am tests going from one sport into another. I refuse to let Diabetes rob her or attempt to rob her of anything if I can do anything about it... so ... she plays and I am at every game(mostly exhausted)and happy that she is happy and "healthy"... But..... It can be more dangerous for Type 1's----1) when they are children-they are growin- their insulins change rapidly with growth spurts and hormone changes-it is ever increasingly difficult to calculate and change doses often and hope things come out alright- it is a CONSTANT battle and juggling and sometimes drastic sugar swings(even when you eat properly and do EVERYTHING they tell you to do correctly). Add sports to that especially constantly being active in sports, and it magnifies it a hundred fold. Neither disease should be downplayed, but I would LOVE to know what it is like to wake up in the morning without wondering if this will be the day that I will have to start planning a funeral service for my child. Yes- it is a wonderful thing that we have musicians and race car drivers who are in the public who have type 1 and tell you that they dont "let it define" them and that kids can do or be anything that they want to be. BUT.......the public has NO idea what type 1 entails---NOONE wants to talk about this silent killer who repeatedlly STALKS our children in order to TAKE THEIR LIFE!!!- Sorry- but the names even should be changes(yet again) to Type 1 and Diabetes(for type 2). And it needs to be made PERFECTLY clear the differences and that NOT all type 2's are obese,lazy, candy eating pigs(not that any of them are because they are NOT-they are people PEOPLE). It is shameful how the media and even our phys. have "helped" in this. For crying out loud-can we not just say to ourselves-"wow-she has type 1, I am so thankful that MY child doesnt have it, wonder if I can help in any was" or "oh-you were diagnosed with type 2,how can I support you". Instead, based on what people "know"-they make judements and assume and go straight into self-righteous mode. I actually had my daughters track coach call me last year to tell me about this Dr. who wrote a wonderful book about blood sugar and eating well. and told me that if I fed my daughter better, she wouldnt have to take insulin anymore. After taking a DEEP breath, I explained to him it was an autoimmune disease and basically all the veggies in the world/vegan diets or natural enemas in the world would not "help" her.....Now- partly-this is not this mans fault-this is part of what is "floating" around out there- BUT it NEEDS TO STOP!!! Not only for type 1's but for type 2's as well. I am sure there are no doubt obese people with type 2 and there are undoubtedly type 1's and type 2's that do not eat well(not sure why-if you want to be as healthy as possible and live...?) But- THEY ARE REAL PEOPLE! Just like you and I. If you were diagnosed with something-anything- would you want-on top of your diagnosis-to deal with people on top of it. Probably not. So...Please don't do it to others. And in the mean time-thank God that you are healthy and have NOT been diagnosed with something- and be there -truly there- when others are. I've dealth with and seen both diseases first hand-type 1 is/Can be worse. My daughter must test 12-15 times a day(mostly for sports-roughly 25,000 finger pokes since diagnosis).Her fingers are sometimes like hamburger meat. My husband-2x per day. My daughter takes 4-7 shots a day(roughly 11,000 since diagnosis). My husband 2 pills. Just this alone is a HUGH difference. Add to this the 3am checks and so MUCH more---type 1 UGH!!!!! Just sayin. Please find out ALL you can about type 1- not just what is said on medical websites- that doesnt even BEGIN to go into it. Find an actual person/child/family with type 1-actively SEEK them out- get to know them- show interest-Help them in anyway you can. Support is SSSooo necessary. We have had none. I also have 2 other children that were age 4 and 8 when my daughter was diagnosed- and they have suffered as well. The whole family does. Please people-CARE. Actively. Thank you.

A fellow caregiver answered...

ive had diabetes since i was 22 months, so i dont know what its like without it and fortunately i can control it quite easily. i do think type 1 is more serious because if not treated correctly, the consequences are equal and much worse to type 2. also type 2 is mostly fat people who have brought it upon themselves, no offence.

Momof2t1sons answered...

For the annonymous caregiver who stated that she was a Type 2 then rediagnosed to a Type 1, please see a different doctor. Just because you are insulin dependent does not make you a Type 1. Type 1 diabetics have antibodies that attack the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Type 2 diabetics that now rely on insulin don't produce those antibodies, it's just that their body stops producing insulin after years of not producing enough. But this doesn't make them a Type just makes them an insulin-dependent Type 2 diabetic.

Shrimpkin answered...

I am a 49 year old suburban dad in reasonably good shape and I was recently diagnosed with LADA. As a result, I'm in that in-between stage of it acting like Type 2 in some ways but knowing that I'll be in full-blown Type 1 land at any point. Since I'm in that ambiguous space I typed in "which type is more serious?"--it seemed like a logical question but after reading this board I realize it's a pointless exercise. The fact is that diabetes is serious, period. Whatever type we have, embrace it for what it is, realize that we have to do the best we can to address it, and also realize that there's always someone else who has complications that make it worse for them.

A fellow caregiver answered...

I have been type 2 for about 5 years. I'm far from over weight and I exercise plenty. I take 5-10 insulin shots a day. I take pills and two different types of insulin. On a good day my sugar levels are at 15 average is 20 not uncommon to be around 30 lots. I have vision problems pain and heart problems I'm 32. Truth is. It's not likely I'll live an other 5 years. Almost certain. I have many doctors helping all the time. Because of this I have many seizures as well. For you people who say type 1 is worse you're only going off of your own life experiences. Before telling someone type one is worse because they take insulin lol know your facts first because I'm on insulin. My diabetes is so bad and has caused so much damage to my kidneys heart and nerve damage. That I am on 19 pills and two different types of needles. Truth is type 1 or type 2 how it affects you varies from person to person. Fact is. They both ain't good. If I good give any advice to anyone who had bad diabetes. Follow what your doctors tell you and don't drink booze. Take it from me.

Ab11 answered...

As a type 2 diagnosed only a few days ago, these answers were horrible to read. Not everyone with type 2 is overweight and can easily "control" it. I agree that they are like 2 difference diseases, but who are any of you to say that my type 2 isn't serious? And that I just have to eat better and lose weight?? I eat well now, but my blood sugars are through the roof. I have started on meds and will likely get to insulin pretty soon. I'm only in my 30's. Please show some compassion for ANYONE with a chronic disease.

A fellow caregiver answered...

I am currently 18 , I was diagnosed type 2 at 16. Both my mother and father have type 2 , both grandmothers and one grandfather had some sort of diabetes and so on. I will admit I wasn't raised on the healthiest of terms , always overweight since birth, and I wish I had the common sense to change that before I got to this point. I have atrial fibrillation, " rare for young adults, typically found in people over 40 , and I currently am on 3 different insulins , 5 -6 shots a day, and on blood pressure medications , check my sugars on average 6 times a day, and my blood pressure 4 times a day, and I keep them in a log book . I know that most people will say this is my own fault, and it probably is... But it's tough living with it , and I can't imagine what type 1s go though. I guess every one is different, and i have been trying to loose weight, which is hard for me. I just have a question, what do you guys do to make your days go by easier?

A fellow caregiver answered...

Obesity is the greatest risk factor for Type 2 diabetes; I am 53-years-old with a 25-year-old daughter with Type 1 diabetes. She was diagnosed almost 20 years ago. Twenty years ago, I never saw or heard of kids with Type 2. What does that tell everyone? There is a genetic connection or tendency, but OBESITY and INACTIVITY certainly caused Type 2 in kids. Why did kids never develop Type 2 diabetes 20 years ago? Because our culture has changed our children's diets and physical education and playing outdoors is much less popular than it was 20 years ago. Not one child or adult can control their diabetes with diet and exercise if they have Type 1, an autoimmune disease, but almost EVERY kid with Type 2 can and should never have gotten the disease to begin with. There are some very rare diseases in kids that have Type 1 diabetes-like symptoms, but 90 -95 percent of Type 2 diabetes in kids can be controlled and/or prevented with a healthy diet, normal weight, and exercise. Kids with Type 1 have a MUCH more serious disease. It is like comparing a stomach virus to cancer.

A fellow caregiver answered...

In regards to what Theresa said the Two Different diseases have very common symptoms and complications, I have Type 1 Diabetes, and have been dealing with it for 32 years. I have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and am at high risk for heart disease, and blindness. I have diabetic retinopathy already, and have needed several surgeries already. All of my conditions have also built up over years-and I all-of-a-sudden have gastroparesis, and diabetic retinopathy... SO, as was mentioned about the type 2 "slew of conditions", well, Type 1's get all of them just as early or late n the game as Type 2's. The doses of which type of medicaion I think, is what makes Type 1 so much more deadly. Death can happen in a matter of minutes with us, where it could take months or years for a Type 2.

I believe that Type 1 is a much more deadly disease, because the ONLY medication we have that saves our lives, is insulin, and death can happen so suddenly with too much, or a decease in sensitivity to the insulin, that can happen at any time, and overnight. Whereas the medication for Type 2's is not fast acting. Most* Type 1's seem to be more healthy or slimmer, for having to deal with the disease for so long, and I have found that most Type 2's are more obese, or unhealthy, because they have lived such an unhealthy lifestyles for so long, that the pancreas can't deal with it anymore, and starts to shut down, making a long-lasting insulin a necessity. This is why it seems to be "sneakier". And a lot of people who get diagnosed with Type 2 so much later in their lives, will not want to give up their unhealthy lifestyle, and make their situation worse. My Aunt has it now, and even when her sugars are 400+, she refuses to skip dessert and still eat a sugary cake or ice cream or anything with a lot of carbohydrates. She started off with just pills, and has kept on making her situation worse, killing her pancreas more, because she won't give up that lifestyle.

So, it is hard to say, but I know Type 1 Diabetes to be much more deadly.

A fellow caregiver answered...

Type 1 diabetic here. From what I know, both types are equally serious due to high and low blood sugars. High blood sugars damage the capillaries in your body, which can lead to nerve damage and loss of feeling in limbs, for example. Low blood sugars can result in seizures, which damage the brain, as there is not enough glucose for it to function, and I'd think nervous system as well, but I'm not sure. That can happen in a matter of 3-5 minutes, depending on when the diabetic notices that the blood sugar is dropping, and how fast it is dropping. Both have to deal with calculating how much insulin would be needed for a meal, and that can change on a daily basis. Sometimes, we have to guess at how much to give for meals. Plus, type 1 diabetics have to deal with ketones when they fall ill, which can lead to ketoacidosis, which isn't good. Ketones can also come from high blood sugars. Please remember that no two diabetics are the same, even if they have the same type because there are literally hundreds of other factors that can have an affect on blood sugars. Some are daily factors, like stress. Some are over weeks, like adjusting to a new time zone, especially if you have an insulin pump. There are some we don't even know are existing and there are some factors that we do know are in existence, but don't know that they effect blood sugars. Type 1 diabetics may even possibly be genetically predisposed to the disease. Please remember that I'm basing my answer on what I know and my experiences, so I could certainly end up having a different experience than another type 1 diabetic. I ask that any who reply to me take this into account when in the process of formulating a reply. Thanks!

Sjnrea answered...

I want to thank you all for your input on both types. I have been recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetis. I understand the seriousness of BOTH of them. My grandmother (who had type 2) DIED in a diabetic coma. My father (who also had type 2) ended up with gangrene in all of his toes and had numerous heart attacks and ended up passing away from of combination of all kinds of things ( doctor siad his body just got tired and gave out) So as much as I understand the seriousness of tyoe 1 - please believe me that type 2 can be just as deadly and scarry as type 1.

J3green answered...

I have type 2, no antibodies, low insulin production from the get go. I have never been over weight and I exercise. I was put on insulin from the moment I left the hospital. No one can explain me. I manage like a type 1, alway have. I check my BG a zillion times a day, and inject myself equally number of times as any type 1. While I won't end up on the hospital in 24 hours....I will in 96 hours. Ok, I have a expiration date greater then a typical type 1. Either way, I don't want serious complications long or short. A swing in my blood sugar, because I missed counted a carb can wear me out for more then a day. So there, I guess I am neither of you ...type 1 or typical type 2. So if you would like to join my club, I am calling it type 42.. Like all of you, I don't want to go blind or lose my legs.....So quit fighting, quit blaming type 2's for having a disease....and quit thinking people like me do not exist.

Cvidintx answered...

Wow just WOW! Type 2 here. Is mine worse than a type 1? Why are we even in a pissing contest over this? The only benefit to I see to Type 1 is yes you see the results of your actions faster. A type 2 can be completely wrecking their insides and because it there is no immediate reaction by the body no one knows the damage to the internal organs. The benefit to type 2, most don't have to have insulin at least in the beginning. Easily controlled and cured? That is laughable. Completely laughable. That is simple misinformation and untruths. Some people can change diet and exercise and it helps them; many others it makes no difference. Please think before you state hateful, hurtful facts. I don't think anyone wants any disease. Period. It is what it is and it is much better to support each other than to try and one up each other with their diseases. This thread was exhausting and disheartening.

A fellow caregiver answered...

All I can say is OMG! People read the story and stop trying to top each other! Type 1 people, Shame on you for boasting your health issues. All health issues from this story are a concern no matter what! You sound like a politician... No offense. Please spare me.

Roysemiller answered...

In July of 2015, it was discovered that I had type 2 diabetes. By the end of the month, I was given a prescription for Metformin. I stated the ADA diet and followed it completely for several weeks but was unable to get my blood sugar below 140. With no results to how for my hard work, I panicked and called my doctor. His response? Deal with it. I began to feel that something wasn't right and do my own research. Then I found Rachel's blog . I read it from cover to cover and I started the diet and by the next morning, my blood sugar was 100. Since then, I have a fasting reading between the mid 70s and 80s. My doctor was so surprised at the results that, the next week, he took me off the Metformin. I lost 30 pounds in the first month and lost more than 6 inches off my waist and I'm able to work out twice a day while still having lots of energy. The truth is we can get off the drugs and help myself by trying natural methods.

Helena ivanovna campbell answered...

You don't really need to listen to what I have to say (only 16 and three weeks diagnosed). Now, I believe both are equally as dangerous. I was just recently diagnosed with T1D after being put in ICU for losing 25lbs in less than a week and having a blood sugar of over 800. My mother was shocked seeing this as I was and still am a healthy young lady. While I was a little shocked I wasn't in disbelief. Although T1D is far more common in men compared to women you also have to remember that it is a hereditary (sometimes random) disease. My grandmother (mothers side) and my father were both T1D. Now to explain where what I just said is going, T1D is polygenic. This means that it can hide itself (recessive trait) as well as show itself very early (dominant trait). I'm shooting in the dark here but my mother might have been carrying T1D as dormant and seeing as my dad has it and it was dominant this increased my chances to get it tenfold. (the life story is just to show how I am processing this) I'll get to my point now. T1D is like a coiled snake every day of your life, it can strike any moment without warning.

Onto T2D. While I don't have any personal experience with T2D I do understand how it comes about. And no, it's not because of obesity -it certainly increases the likelihood-, it is because your body releases too much insulin and you start to gain a resistance to it. To put it simply, your body can't use the insulin correctly (being fat means needing more insulin, this leads to the pancreas pumping out more insulin which leads to developing a resistance to it). While this can be fixed/prevented with healthy eating, exercise, and proper care of your body that doesn't eliminate the fact that it is just as bad as T1D. T2D is like a wolf stalking its prey, slow and brooding waiting for the right moment. Yes, T2D isn't as immediate/sudden as T1D but it is still just as deadly (restating what I said before I know).

Final statement, stop acting like arguing children. You may have valid points but you arguing on which is more deadly is like a catholic priest trying to convince a theoretical astrophysicist (what I am majoring in) that god exists. A TA doesn't care nor have the time of day -there are some out there- to even think about a higher being, all they care about is where and how celestial bodies came about in math formula's. The fact of the matter is, both end in the same result if not treated properly. That end result? Death. Thank you for taking time out of your day to read this, enjoy your day, and try to understand both diseases on a deeper level. You probably won't though, I'm just a teenager after all.

Miki7 answered...

Doctors at the International Council for Truth in Medicine are revealing the truth about diabetes that has been suppressed for over 21 years. Watch the video here:

Last year they helped over 17,542 type 2 diabetics end the need for prescription drugs, insulin injections and blood sugar monitoring. This year they're on track to help over 30,000.