Type one vs. type two diabetes: What is the difference between the two, and why are they so commonly confused?


courtesy to WooHealth

Supplies for dealing with diabetes.

The most common conception of diabetes is obesity and an unhealthy diet. Although that may be so in some cases, type two alone is often one of the few things people think of when they hear the word “diabetes.” 

Type one is genetically inherited and has nothing to do with weight or diet in those who have it. While type two could also be genetically influenced, 100% of the time has something to do with weight and/or diet.

The differences in care for type one and type two are very different as well. While type one diabetics take insulin shots and really have no diet restrictions, type two is controlled through diet and exercise.    

Diabetes is when the pancreas stops producing insulin or not enough, without insulin the body’s blood sugar goes through the roof. Having high blood sugar comes with incredible side effects, such as headaches/migraines, vomiting, dizziness, mood changes (typically anger/aggressiveness), and lightheadedness.

However, the reverse is also true, having low blood sugar is just as bad if not, worse. It can happen when someone receives too much insulin, or from not eating. The side effects of low blood sugar are extreme dizziness, shakiness, passing out, seizures, headaches, and confusion. Having low blood sugar can also give off the sensation to other people of being drunk.

My name is Abigail Hudson, and I struggle with all of these problems, from the stereotypes to the harsh medical mishaps. I may be a type one diabetic but I still constantly hear the most frustrating phrases for any diabetic. The most frustrating phase for me is, “Should you eat that? Are you sure you can have it?” Since I am a type one diabetic none of the food restrictions apply to me, as it is not a diet issue.

Dealing with and coping with diabetes is simpler and also more complicated than you think. For me it is a very simple problem that can be easily taken care of, however, sometimes my blood sugar decides to have a mind of its own. There have been many accounts where I’d have low blood sugar, so I didn’t take insulin and yet it continues to decline.

There are several accounts that I can recall but the most drastic one was, one Sunday morning at church. I was sitting there and just zoned out, not in any realization of my blood sugar being low. When we realized this, about five minutes later, I drank an entire Gatorade. However, my blood sugar continued to go lower. After about five more Gatorades and a couple of handfuls of gummies my blood sugar still wasn’t going up. My parents quickly took drove me to the ER, the whole way there I continued to go lower. When we got there they ran numerous tests and after about six or seven hours my blood sugar finely started to go back up.

Having diabetes comes with numerous mental health issues as well. Feeling like a constant burden to my parents both physically and financially. Diabetes supplies can cost up to $100 per month. Aswell knowing that they are constantly worrying, and taking me to and from Children’s monthly. 

Despite all of these challenges, diabetes is something I’ve come to terms with throughout the years.