Diabetes – differences between Type 1 & Type 2

There are two types of Diabetes broadly dividing into insulin requiring (type 1) and non-insulin requiring (type 2). This is not absolute as some people who do not need insulin at the start may go on to do so.

Type one occurs where the body cannot produce insulin often starting in childhood or adolescence.  There are genetic tendencies although the exact inheritance pattern is not known, Type two comes about when the body’s cells become resistant to the effects of insulin generally occurring later in life. Weight and consumption of refined carbohydrates play a bigger role although there are genetic tendencies here too.

Diabetes is diagnosed by testing for glucose and glycated haemoglobin (Hba1c) in the blood stream. A further test known as a glucose tolerance test may also be done. This involves “challenging” the body with a sugar load and monitoring how the body handles it.

Managing diabetes includes lifestyle changes and possibly medications. Those with type one will need lifelong insulin. Being on a low sugar diet is vital for diabetics. For those who are overweight, losing weight can help control glucose levels. Regular exercise is also beneficial.  Blood glucose monitoring helps people with diabetes control their blood sugar and live in relative freedom. Regular review and blood tests through your doctor are also important.