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Type 1 diabetes or Type 2? What's the difference?

Updated: May 11, 2023

  • Type 1 diabetes: This is an autoimmune disease in which the cells of the pancreas that produce insulin are destroyed by one’s own cells, which leads to little or no insulin production.

  • Type 2 diabetes: This is a condition where the body cannot effectively use insulin (insulin resistance) or impairment of insulin secretion.

Type 1 diabetes is generally linked to genetics and can onset in early life whereas type 2 diabetes is often caused by factors such as being in a larger body, physical inactivity and poor diet therefore, can be prevented.

To manage these conditions oral or injectable medications are prescribed to influence the production and/or release of insulin to manage blood glucose levels. However, medication alone cannot help the condition, a balanced diet is also a key treatment for diabetes. Advice given to individuals with diabetes includes:

  • Portion control especially around carbohydrate-rich foods;

  • Eating a variety of foods from the 5 food groups;

  • Having a balanced diet ie. Eating in moderation;

  • Enjoyable physical activity ie. going for walks;

  • Carbohydrate identification and counting (mostly for those with T1D) and;

  • Insulin adjustment in accordance with carbohydrates consumed.

Living with diabetes isn’t easy, it's monitoring your blood glucose levels regularly, especially after high carbohydrate meals, it’s looking at foods and estimating how many carbs it contains and calculating the amount of insulin needed to help absorb the glucose from the carbs, it’s ensuring you’re eating the right sorts of carbs before and after exercising as well as trying to have the same amounts of carbs for meals and snacks.

But however difficult it may be, there are helpful diabetes educators to get you on track as well as dietitians to assist with choosing the right foods, providing you with support and guidance!

Need some assistance with getting your diabetes under control? Book a 1:1 consultation with me to receive tailored advice and strategies to get you back on track!

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