Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes generally effects young people, but can be diagnosed at any age. With Type 1 diabetes the pancreas makes little to no insulin and while the exact cause is not entirely known it is believed to be linked to the immune system. In saying that; the pancreatic beta cells are destroyed and therefor are unable to produce insulin effectively.
Insulin allows the body to breakdown sugar or glucose to then create energy. Without insulin the body has enormous problems processing food.
People with type 1 diabetes need insulin to live and that will mean injecting many times a day in order to do the job that the pancreas was designed to do. Insulin can be given via pen needles or an insulin pump. An insulin pump means one cannula every three days and therefore greater flexibility with life management.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes generally presents later in life and is characterized by many signs and symptoms. In Type 2 Diabetes the pancreas is making insulin but the quality and quantity is reduced and less effective.
Type 2 diabetes results from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Although there is a strong genetic predisposition, the risk is greatly increased when associated with lifestyle factors such as high blood pressure, being overweight or obese, insufficient physical activity, poor diet and the classic ‘apple shape’ body where extra weight is carried around the waist.
Type 2 diabetes can be managed in many different ways depending on the individual and their “stage of readiness to change”.
Gestational diabetes is diabetes that first occurs during pregnancy. When women are pregnant, their need for insulin appears to increase, and many can develop gestational diabetes during the late stages of pregnancy. Although this form of diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born, a woman who has had gestational diabetes is much more likely to develop type 2 diabetes within 15 years post delivery of her baby.