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September 25, 2001

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Indianola, Illinois, USA:

I am 26 years old and was diagnosed two years ago, but the doctor could not tell me if it was type 1 or type 2 diabetes. I have a family history of it, I am overweight, and I am taking a pill for it. How do you tell the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?


I hope you are in contact with a diabetes team which would be able to tell you which type of diabetes you have. These two types of diabetes are quite different in their onset and treatment. See Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes.

I assume you are measuring your blood glucoses per the recommendations of your doctor. If your before meal blood glucoses are 80-120 mg/dl [mmol/L], your bedtime blood sugar is 100-140 mg/dl [mmol/L], and your hemoglobin A1c is less than 1% above the upper limit of normal on the sulfonylurea, you probably have type 2 diabetes.

Since you mention that you are overweight, please keep in mind that losing some weight, even 10 pounds, can dramatically improve your diabetes control, in addition to helping improve your overall health. If you can, though, you might wish to check with a diabetes team to ascertain which type of diabetes you have and be sure you are getting the best treatment recommendations possible.