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Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. This means that the body's own immune system has attacked the insulin producing cells of the pancreas. The pancreas can no longer produce insulin when this occurs. Although often diagnosed in childhood or adolescence, it can occur at any age.

How is it managed?

  • Administering insulin by injections or a pump will help to manage blood glucose levels. The amount of insulin required will constantly need to be reviewed.
  • Eating well, moving regularly and monitoring blood glucose levels are also important to stay well and manage type 1 diabetes. It's a big job!

How can it be prevented?

  • Currently type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented or cured.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the insulin being produced does not work effectively (this is called insulin resistance). Although often diagnosed in adulthood, more and more children and teens are being diagnosed.

How is it managed?

  • Eating well, focusing on carbohydrate serving sizes, monitoring blood glucose levels and staying active is important. Some people will also require medications or insulin to manage blood glucose levels.
  • Using insulin DOES NOT mean a person with type 2 becomes a person with type 1 diabetes.

How can it be prevented?

  • In many people, type 2 diabetes can be prevented or its onset delayed with regular exercise, healthy eating, not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight.

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)

GDM occurs during pregnancy when the pregnancy hormones block the action of insulin. This leads to insulin resistance and high blood glucose levels.

How is it managed?

  • Eating well for pregnancy, focusing on carbohydrate serving sizes, blood glucose monitoring and moving regularly are all important factors. Some women will also require insulin to maintain blood glucose levels within their target ranges.

How can it be prevented?

  • Many women CANNOT prevent GDM.
  • However, women can reduce their risk by maintaining a healthy weight before getting pregnant and during pregnancy, healthy eating and doing regular physical activity. 

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