You often hear people referring to “Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes” – but isn’t diabetes just diabetes? Not exactly. It’s important to know the difference between the two types, because it will help you know which signs to be on the lookout for and how to avoid getting diabetes now or in the future.
What Is Type 1 Diabetes?
A person gets Type 1 Diabetes when their pancreas stops working properly to make insulin. The pancreas is an organ in the body that produces insulin, which helps to keep your blood sugar levels balanced. When the pancreas stops working properly, your body cannot produce insulin and manage its own blood sugar levels. This is why people with Type 1 Diabetes have to test their blood sugar levels every day and inject themselves with the right amount of insulin.
Who can get it?
Scientists and doctors are still not exactly sure why the pancreas stops working properly or why it happens to some people and not to others. It doesn’t matter how healthy or fit you are, if you have a parent, brother or sister with Type 1 Diabetes, your risk of being diagnosed with the disease is much higher.
Interestingly enough, Type 1 Diabetes is also known for skipping a generation. This means that if your grandparent has Type 1 Diabetes, your mother or father might not have it – but you or your siblings might get it.
What Is Type 2 Diabetes?
A person who is diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes is usually over-weight and doesn’t follow a healthy diet and exercise routine. Because of these unhealthy choices, their body struggles to process all the sugar and fat in your diet – and the insulin in thier body cannot do its job of managing blood sugar levels. This means that thier blood sugar is constantly high, which puts them at risk of kidney failure, heart disease and other related illnesses.
That’s why it’s important to get your blood sugar levels tested, so that you can change your lifestyle and diet before it becomes a problem.
Who can get it?
The main reason people get diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes is because they are overweight and eat the wrong foods. For instance, eating too much sugary cereal, fast foods, starchy foods (like white bread, pasta, potatoes and chips), sweets, and more. What’s more, if you don’t get enough exercise to work off all that sugar and bad foods, your body cannot do it alone – and that’s when your blood sugar levels start to rise. In the past, Type 2 Diabetes mainly affected older people, but due to poor diets and unhealthy lifestyles, it’s affecting more and more young people every day.
It’s never too late to change your eating and lifestyle habits. By eating more healthy foods like fruit and vegetables, and cutting back on “bad food” you can lower your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Speak to us if you need advice on exercise and nutrition:
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