So what makes type 1 diabetes different than type 2? First, type 1 is much rarer, accounting for only 5 to 10 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. With type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system destroys special cells in the pancreas that manufacture insulin. These cells, called beta cells, are the only places in the body where insulin is produced. Without them, the body lacks the insulin it needs to move glucose out of circulation and control high blood sugar.
Other major characteristics of type 1: