Learning your type of Diabetes is actually pretty easy. Your doctor should be able to tell you with decent confidence. For example my own doctor stated that I had the white blood cell markers of Diabetes Type 1.
Let's quickly outline the types of Diabetes...
- Type 1 Diabetes - Typically defined as "the body does not make insulin"
- Trouble is, early on in a diagnosis the body may still be producing insulin. This is called the "honeymoon period" and we'll get to that in a future posting.
- Type 2 Diabetes - Defined most often as "a resistance to insulin", generally due to being overweight or sedentary lifestyles (not much exercise) but not always.
- Gestational Diabetes - Defined as "Diabetes that occurs during pregnancy". Obviously excludes men... Sorry guys!
Why is it important to determine the type of Diabetes we're dealing with? Well at the core it's really not because all of the types of Diabetes result in a similar change in lifestyle.
The biggest difference is, Type 1 Diabetes requires insulin, while Type 2 Diabetes and Gestational Diabetes don't always require insulin. Additionally, Gestational Diabetes is generally temporary, though it's reported to increase risk of Type 2 Diabetes in the mother and increases the risk of obesity in the child and Type 2 Diabetes can often be reversed entirely (or "cured").
I'm not sure how much I believe the effect on the child (would need to do more research), but the mother for sure as her pancreas needs to work harder throughout the pregnancy and that takes a toll.
Anyway, I'm not going to talk much about Gestational Diabetes because (unless my nightmares come true and childbirth becomes a possibility for me) I'm not a woman. Just know that controlling any type of Diabetes is similar outside of insulin therapy, with exercise and diet control.
Type 2 Diabetes
I'll be honest... As a person with Type 1 Diabetes, I'm often frustrated by Type 2 Diabetics. In many cases, all they need to do to control their glucose levels is a bit of walking (or other exercise), diet control, and maybe a pill or two a day. SOME can even CURE themselves just by losing weight and/or becoming more active.
To those of you diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes... This is MY problem, not yours 😉
The trouble I see is so many commercials on TV and ads on the internet say, "take this pill", "this patch", "this...." and cure your Diabetes when all that is generally needed is a bit of exercise, diet control, maybe a prescription (often temporary) from your doctor, and you should be able to control your glucose or even cure your type of Diabetes.
Notice my use of "generally" and "should". Not all cases are the same, but in so many it can be done in healthier ways.
My own doctor has stated it's possible to have both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. ugh!
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes requires insulin therapy on top of diet control, and exercise.
This means "finger sticks" (as all types require), multiple injections of insulin every day or continuous injections from an insulin pump on top of all of the things I've mentioned so far.
What Does it All Mean?
Point is... All types of Diabetes require a lifestyle change, but not ALL types of Diabetes require the SAME lifestyle changes.
I want to focus on those words, "lifestyle change".
"Normal" people consider changes in their diets to BE "diets"... Temporary... Things they can dismiss when their goal is reached. I used to be of a similar mind...
With my own diagnosis, I determined (like so many diet "experts") that if you want to lose weight, and remain healthy... A Diabetic diet and life-style is actually what most people should consider the way to a healthier life!
The words, "you are what you eat" have never had more meaning to me!