The Difference Between Prediabetes, Type 1 Diabetes, and Type 2 Diabetes

Medically Reviewed by: Scientific Advisory Board

Diabetes is a condition that impairs the body's ability to produce or use insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels.

However, there is good news: diabetes is a manageable condition and in some instances (except for type 1 diabetes) can be prevented with simple lifestyle modifications.

Moreover, it is important to understand the difference between prediabetes, type 1, and type 2 diabetes so you can know the best way to care for your health.

What are the types of diabetes?

There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. 

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an organ-specific autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. This causes the pancreas to produce little to no insulin.

T1D typically shows up in the early stages of life, and given that there is no current cure for it, insulin intake is a lifelong requirement.

Adopting a low-carbohydrate diet has been shown to help individuals better manage blood glucose levels, especially when replacing refined carbohydrates with fiber-containing carbohydrates in the diet.

Although the cause of T1D is not known, those with a family history seem to be at a higher risk.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is primarily lifestyle-related and develops over time. T2D happens when the body becomes resistant to insulin because too much of it has been circulating in the bloodstream.

Although the body can still produce insulin, it does not use or respond well to it. While some people with T2D can control their blood sugar levels with healthy eating and exercise, others may require medication or insulin to manage it. Risk factors for T2D include:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Having a family history of type 2 diabetes
  • 45 years or older 
  • Lack of physical activity (less than three times per week)
  • Having a history of gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)
  • Being African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian, or Alaska Native
  • Having prediabetes

What is prediabetes?

Prediabetes happens when the cells in the body stop responding to insulin as they should, causing the pancreas to increase insulin production.

Eventually, the pancreas can’t keep up, so blood sugar levels become higher than usual but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.

Prediabetes is often a result of lifestyle choices such as a poor diet and lack of physical activity. It isestimated that more than 1 in 3 Americans have prediabetes, with more than 80% unaware of their condition.

Those with prediabetes are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. 

What can I do to prevent it?

The good news is that there are ways to prevent prediabetes and T2D:

  • Maintaining healthy body weight and waist circumference 
    • If overweight or obese, aim to lose 5 to 10% of your current body weight
  • Adopting a nutrient-dense and plant-predominant, fiber-rich diet
  • Getting regular physical activity to meet therecommendations
    • 150 to 300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity, OR
    • 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity
  • Reduce alcohol consumption
  • Quit smoking

An effective way to improve your well-being

It is essential for individuals not to let their diagnosis prevent them from living a normal, happy, and healthy life. Diabetes can cause physical discomforts, such as pain, swelling, and foot sensitivity. One way to improve foot health is by wearing diabetic socks from Circufiber.

Key Takeaways

Even small changes can have a significant impact on delaying or preventing diabetes. 

From adopting healthier eating habits, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly, lifestyle modifications are easy, inexpensive, and effective strategies to prevent the disease. Those living with diabetes can improve their quality of life by knowing how to properly care for their bodies and manage blood sugar levels, including regular foot care.

Circufiber diabetic socks provide an easy and comfortable way to alleviate diabetes-related foot symptoms to help you better cope and live with the disease. Work with a healthcare professional to make a plan that works for your lifestyle. 

References, Studies and Sources:

CDC - Diabetes Stats

Always consult your physician before beginning any program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. If you experience any pain or difficulty, stop and consult your healthcare provider.