What is the difference between type one and type 2 diabetes?


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If you have type I diabetes then you will have a defect in one of the cells of your immune cells which causes them to attack the β-cells within the islets of Langerhans of your pancreas. By destroying these β-cells, your immune system will have removed the only cells of your body that were capable of producing insulin. Insulin is required by the cells of your body so that they can absorb sugar from your blood stream (that your body cells use for energy) so your body would normally release insulin immediately after a meal so that your body cells can gain access to the sugar in your blood stream. However, if you have diabetes type II then you will not be able to release any insulin into your blood stream so the cells of your body are completely unable to absorb sugar from the blood stream. If you have diabetes type II then you still have working pancreatic β-cells and your body still releases insulin into your blood stream after a meal. However, for a number of different possible reasons, your body is unable to respond to the insulin. You have become insulin resistant. This means that the cells of your body will have a reduced ability to absorb the glucose from your blood stream. So, whilst type I diabetes is treated by injecting insulin, type II diabetes has to be treated by other drugs that help your body to recognise the insulin in your blood stream so that the cells of your body absorb the glucose successfully.


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