Type 1 diabetes is an illness characterized by the body’s inability to produce insulin. This is due to the autoimmune destruction of the beta cells in the pancreas. The onset usually occurs in childhood, however it can also develop in adults. The patient will need to take insulin injections as the pancreas stops making it.
It is thought that this type of diabetes may be triggered by a genetic susceptibility and environmental factors, such as viruses.
Diabetes type 2 is a metabolic disorder which usually develops in adult hood. It is is characterized by a high blood sugar, insulin resistance, and relative lack of insulin. It primarily occurs as a result of obesity and lack of exercise. Recently there has been an unprecedented increase in this disease in children which is thought to be directly related to poor diet, subsequent obesity and lack of exercise (2).We are currently experiencing an worrying epidemic of this lifestyle disease.
This used to be seen as a chronic disease where one would need to take medication for life. It is now however becoming clear that it is a reversible disease in the majority of patients who are willing to take a leap to change to a healthier diet and lifestyle. (4).
It has recently been suggested by scientists (1) that the term 'Type-3-Diabetes' is used for Alzheimer's disease because of the shared molecular and cellular features among Type-1-Diabetes, Type-2-Diabetes and insulin resistance associated with memory deficits and cognitive decline in elderly individuals. Interestingly, insulin also plays a crucial role in the formation of amyloid plaques which are significant in Alzheimer's disease.
Incredible results are now being seen with patients who change to a healthier diet and increase their exercise levels. Several studies have reported diet and exercise in slowing the progression of Alzheimer's disease (1).
Treatments for type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Treatment for type 1 diabetes involves insulin injections or the use of an insulin pump, frequent blood sugar checks, and carbohydrate counting. Treatment of type 2 diabetes primarily involves lifestyle changes, monitoring of your blood sugar, along with diabetes medications, insulin or both.
A healthy diabetes diet looks pretty much like a healthy diet for anyone: lots of fruits, veggies, healthy fats, and lean protein; less salt, sugar, and foods high in refined carbs (cookies, crackers, and soda, just to name a few). Your individual carb goal is based on your age, activity level, and any medicines you take. For individual advice and a tailored diet plan, please contact me for consultation.
Taking regular exercise has special advantages if you have Type 2 Diabetes. Physical activity has been shown to remarkably improve your body's sensitivity to insulin. This will help blood sugar level stabilize to a more normal range which in turn has benefits of preserving the central nervous system function (3).