Diabetes is a chronic condition that happens when the pancreas is no longer able to make insulin, when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or because your cells have become resistant to insulin. Insulin is the hormone that helps process glucose from the food we eat, which passes through the blood stream into the cells in our bodies, and is then turned into energy2.
Left untreated or undiagnosed, diabetes can lead to a range of health complications such as kidney damage, nerve damage (neuropathy), damage to blood vessels (vascular disease), and an increased risk of infections3.
There are two types of diabetes:
Type 1 is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. People with Type 1 diabetes need lifelong insulin therapy4.
Type 2 is an insulin resistance, where the body’s cells do not respond properly to insulin. Over time, the pancreas may also lose the ability to produce enough insulin5. Type 2 diabetes is often linked to unhealthy lifestyle factors, like obesity.
Although different in nature, the treatment and management of both types of diabetes can be grouped into 3 main pillars: exercise, medication, and healthy eating.