It was the best of times…. .until I got diagnosed with Diabetes!
The usual comments I get when I say I’m a diabetic are ‘you don’t look sick!’ , ‘but you don’t look like my grandma?’ ‘but you’re skinny!’, ‘did you eat too much sugar as a kid?’ and my favorite, ‘Are you sure you can eat that?.
The reason for that is, Type 1 Diabetes (also known as: Juvenile Diabetes, Diabetes Mellitus, The Bad Diabetes, The Kid’s one) and Type 2 Diabetes (the more common one) have about as much in common as allergies and the common cold.
Yes, they both involve your pancreas, and sugar levels, and the same complications if the blood sugars are not managed, but they are also completely different.
type 1 diabetes is an auto immune disease, which means that (in laymen terms), your body turns against itself. So your body ends up attacking your pancreas (and we don’t know why!), and it cannot produce anymore insulin, thus results in too much sugar in your blood stream.
TYPE 1 TREATMENTS
To check your blood sugar, you must prick your finger and put your blood onto a glucose test strip in your meter. There is now something called the ‘Freestyle Libre’ which allows you to ‘swipe’ a sensor that has been injected into your arm temporarily.
For Type 1 Diabetes, you have no choice but to inject yourself with insulin, a synthetic version (used to be from an animal). This can be done via multiple injections, or an insulin pump. There are many pump companies you can choose from.
DIABETES CANADA DEFINITION
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and kills the beta cells of the pancreas. No, or very little, insulin is released into the body. As a result, sugar builds up in the blood instead of being used as energy. About 10 per cent of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes generally develops in childhood or adolescence, but can develop in adulthood.
Type 1 diabetes is always treated with insulin. Meal planning also helps with keeping blood sugar at the right levels.
Type 1 diabetes also includes latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA), the term used to describe the small number of people with apparent type 2 diabetes who appear to have immune-mediated loss of pancreatic beta cells.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body can’t properly use the insulin that is released (called insulin insensitivity) or does not make enough insulin. As a result, sugar builds up in the blood instead of being used as energy. About 90 per cent of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes more often develops in adults, but children can be affected.
Depending on the severity of type 2 diabetes, it may be managed through physical activity and meal planning, or may also require medications and/or insulin to control blood sugar more effectively.