There are different types of diabetes, namely type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, and prediabetes. More often than not, the term “diabetes” refers to type 2, as this type impacts approximately 29 million Americans, versus the 1.25 million Americans impacted by type 1 for example.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when your immune system attacks itself – destroying the cells in your pancreas that produce insulin. Although diet plays a large role in dosing insulin and balancing blood sugars, people living with type 1 diabetes must take insulin every day, whether through an insulin pump or syringes. Though it can occur at any age, type 1 diabetes typically appears in children and young adults.
Type 2 diabetes is a result of one’s limited ability to use insulin or make enough of it. This is the most common type of diabetes, and its management ranges from taking oral medication to administering insulin, to monitoring carbohydrate intake and overall diet quality. Physical inactivity, overweight, and certain health problems such as high blood pressure can increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes, and you are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you are age 45 or older.
Gestational diabetes occurs only in women during pregnancy. It is sometimes related to the hormonal changes that take place, which may reduce your body’s ability to use insulin. Since this type can cause problems for both the mother and the baby, following a healthy eating plan and incorporating physical activity is crucial A healthy eat plan should include nutrient-dense foods and may include low- and no-calorie sweeteners to flavor foods and drinks. As Health Canada states, “Consumption of sugar substitutes during pregnancy does not pose a health risk.”
Prediabetes simply means that your blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to qualify for a diabetes diagnosis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1 out of every 3 American adults (approximately 84 million) has prediabetes. Of those with prediabetes, 90% don’t know they have it. Researchers believe excess weight and lack of exercise are major factors causing prediabetes.