As we prepare to recognize World Diabetes Day on 14 November 2023, we must educate ourselves about the two main types of diabetes – Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes. In this blog, we’ll explore how these two types are unique and how you can manage diabetes if either is diagnosed.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disorder where the pancreas does not produce insulin or enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body absorb sugar – also known as glucose – from food so that it can be used for energy. In Type 1 Diabetes, the body’s immune system destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, preventing it from producing the required amount. Due to this, people with Type 1 diabetes require insulin injections for life.
Type 2 Diabetes
Contrarily, Type 2 Diabetes is a metabolic disorder where the pancreas does produce insulin but is unable to use it effectively. It’s usually the result of lifestyle patterns such as unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity. Unlike Type 1, people with Type 2 diabetes do not require insulin injections. They may need to take certain medications to help their body better process insulin.
Whether it’s Type 1 or Type 2, diabetes can be managed with lifestyle changes and medications. It’s essential to follow a healthy diet which typically includes vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats but limits processed and sugary foods. Physical activity and exercise contribute to managing diabetes as this helps to use the sugar efficiently. As mentioned before, people with Type 1 Diabetes may need insulin injections for life; and for Type 2 Diabetes, medications may be required to improve glucose control. Managing diabetes is essential to prevent complications related to it such as heart attacks, strokes, nerve damage, kidney damage, vision loss, foot damage, and more.
On World Diabetes Day, let’s come together and learn more about the two types of diabetes so that we can understand the difference between them and also commit to making healthier lifestyle choices.