How can you tell which type of diabetes you have? I was diagnosed at 22 and last year, my endocrinologist said that he believed I had maturity onset juvenile. Both of my parents have type 2 and were diagnosed in their 40s, and my brother is 42 and he was just diagnosed. But they were able to control it with oral meds and I'm insulin dependent. How can I find out for sure?

Patty Bonsignore


Your healthcare provider can determine whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes by a number of factors, including your medical history, your family history, your symptoms and your lab results. People with type 1 tend to be younger, sicker at the time of diagnosis, have weight loss at the time of diagnosis and need to start on insulin right away to keep their blood glucose levels under control. If you are concerned about what type of diabetes you have, ask your doctor why he or she thinks you have type 1. This may help clear it up. If you are really concerned and not getting answers you feel comfortable with, you may want to ask your doctor for a referral to see an endocrinologist (a diabetes specialist).

January 7, 2012 at 8:41 pm

3 replies

Pin Cushion
Pin Cushion 2012-01-28 06:54:54 -0600 Report

I have been unsure for a long time. I was diagnosed as type 2 when I was 47, after losing about 20 lbs in about a month and not knowing why.

I went from 160 lbs to about 140 lbs, I never considered myself obese (I'm 5'6"). I am not aware of diabetes in my family, except for my aunt.

For the first 10 years I was able to control my blood sugar level with oral meds & diet but I have been taking insulin for the last 5 years.

Last year my endocrinologist did a test & said my pancreas was not producing the normal amount of in insulin.

I am still not sure what type of diabetes I have but I guess it is not really important - my doctor never talks about it. I just need to do what needs to be done to control my blood sugar.

maclover1524 2012-01-26 18:40:17 -0600 Report

You can tell your physician to order a C-Peptide test as well. C-Peptide is produced in the body when insulin is produced. If you have very low insulin levels, you will have low levels of C-Peptide. Results of low levels would indicate type 1 diabetes. Normal or high levels of C-Peptide would be an indication of type 2 diabetes. Most type 2 diabetics produce a normal amount of insulin however, their diet consists of so many carbohydrates that they become insulin resistant. Insulin is the key to open the receptors on the billions of cells of the body. When insulin opens the receptors on these cells, glucose is delivered and the cells are happy. When a type 2 diabetic is insulin resistant, the cells that need the glucose, refuse to respond to the insulin "key" thus the receptors do not open and the cells to do get the glucose they need for energy. The insulin takes the glucose to the fat cells which will accept any and all glucose. These fat cells are primarily located in the abdominal region of the body. This condition can be reversed by changing your lifestyle and deciding to eat low carb.

MomH 2012-01-26 18:11:22 -0600 Report

There is also a subtype of type 1 called LADA:


This is what my daughter was finally diagnosed with at age 24. We made a trip to the ER when her glucose level was 600. They first thought she had type 2, and oral meds brought her glucose down some, but not enough, and not for very long. Because of a family history of type 1, the diagnosis was changed. She has now been on an insulin pump for a year. My mother had all the same symptoms as a child, including losing weight, but she was not diagnosed until she was about 50. So she was wrongly diagnosed as type 2.