About Diabetes

The Canadian Diabetes Association defines diabetes mainly by 2 types:

Type 1 diabetes, usually diagnosed in children and adolescents, occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that controls the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. As a result sugar builds up in the blood instead of being used as energy. About 5 to 10 per cent of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is always treated with insulin and with meal planning it can keep the blood sugar at the right levels.

Type 2 diabetes, occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body does not effectively use the insulin that is produced. Type 2 diabetes usually develops in adulthood, although increasing numbers of children in high-risk populations are being diagnosed. Depending on the severity of type 2 diabetes, it may be managed through physical activity and meal planning, or may also need medications and/or insulin to help control blood sugar levels.

If diabetes is left untreated it can cause:

  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Eye disease
  • Nerve damage

Fortunately, through diet and exercise, diabetes can be controlled!