About Diabetes

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease in which your pancreas does not produce enough or any insulin, or your body does not properly use the insulin it makes.1 Insulin is a hormone that is produced in your pancreases that allows your body to use sugar, from the carbohydrates that you consume, or to store it for later use. Insulin keeps your blood sugar at the optimal level.2 There are three types of diabetes which are called Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational diabetes.3 Approximately 2.7 million Canadians4 and 29.1 Americans5 have diabetes.

Type 1

Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), also known as Juvenile Diabetes, is the less common form of diabetes. T1D affects up to 10% of people with diabetes in Canada (270,000)6 and approximately 5% of people with diabetes in the United States of America (1,250,000)7. According the the Canadian Diabetes Association, “Type 1 Diabetes is a disease in which the pancreas does not product any insulin.”8 Since the pancreas is unable to produce insulin, a person with T1D is dependent on insulin. Insulin is self-administered either via injection or insulin pump (which is connected through flexible tubing that's connected to the pump and enters the body through an under-the-skin cannula or needle.)There is currently no cure for T1D.

Type 2

Type 2 Diabetes (T2D), is the more common form of diabetes. T2D affects approximately 90% of people with diabetes in Canada (2,430,000)10 and approximately 95% of people with diabetes in the United States of America (27,645,000)11. According the the Canadian Diabetes Association, “Type 2 diabetes is a disease in which your pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or your body does not properly use the insulin it makes. As a result, glucose (sugar) builds up in your blood instead of being used for energy.”12 Aiming for a healthy body weird, taking medications that your primary care physician prescribes, and eating healthy meals/snacks are all ways that T2D can be effectively managed. 

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes (GD), affects “between three and 20 per cent of pregnant women” according to the Canadian Diabetes Association.13 The CDA recommends that all pregnant women should be screened for such diabetes at 28 weeks of pregnancy. This form of diabetes occurs during pregnancy where their body “cannot produce enough insulin to handle the effects of a growing baby and changing hormone levels.”14

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Gordon Hannan operates TheDiabetic.Life. . In his free time, he operates Digitally Smarter — a web development and IT consulting small business — and is working to complete his second BA online at Athabasca University.

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1 "Living with Type 1 Diabetes." Canadian Diabetes Association. Accessed December 02, 2015. http://www.diabetes.ca/diabetes-and-you/living-with-type-1-diabetes.

2 Hess-Fischl, Amy, MS, RD, LDN, BC-ADM, CDE. "What Is Insulin?" EndocrineWeb. Accessed December 05, 2015. http://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/type-1-diabetes/what-insulin.

3 Canadian Diabetes Association. An Economic Tsunami the Cost of Diabetes in Canada. 2009. Accessed December 5, 2015. http://www.diabetes.ca/CDA/media/documents/publications-and-newsletters/advocacy-reports/economic-tsunami-cost-of-diabetes-in-canada-english.pdf.

4 Colagiuri, Ruth, Rita Fitzgerald, Dennis J. Furlong, Céline Huot, Marguarite Keeley, Hans Krueger, Annette Robinson, Jay Silverberg, Catherine Turner, Jeffery A. Johnson, Samantha Bowker, Joe Whitney, and Robin Somerville. Diabetes: Canada At The Tipping Point Charting A New Path. Report. April 4, 2011. Accessed December 5, 2015. https://www.diabetes.ca/CDA/media/documents/publications-and-newsletters/advocacy-reports/canada-at-the-tipping-point-english.pdf.

5 "Statistics About Diabetes." American Diabetes Association. Accessed December 05, 2015. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/.

6 Canadian Diabetes Association. An Economic Tsunami the Cost of Diabetes in Canada. 2009. Accessed December 5, 2015. http://www.diabetes.ca/CDA/media/documents/publications-and-newsletters/advocacy-reports/economic-tsunami-cost-of-diabetes-in-canada-english.pdf.

7 "Statistics About Diabetes." American Diabetes Association. Accessed December 05, 2015. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/.

8 "Living with Type 1 Diabetes." Canadian Diabetes Association. Accessed December 02, 2015. http://www.diabetes.ca/diabetes-and-you/living-with-type-1-diabetes.

9 "2011 Infusion Sets." Diabetes Forecast. January 2011. Accessed December 05, 2015. http://www.diabetesforecast.org/2011/jan/2011-infusion-sets.html.

10 Canadian Diabetes Association. An Economic Tsunami the Cost of Diabetes in Canada. 2009. Accessed December 5, 2015. http://www.diabetes.ca/CDA/media/documents/publications-and-newsletters/advocacy-reports/economic-tsunami-cost-of-diabetes-in-canada-english.pdf.

11 "Statistics About Diabetes." American Diabetes Association. Accessed December 05, 2015. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/.

12 "Living with Type 2 Diabetes." Canadian Diabetes Association. Accessed December 05, 2015. http://www.diabetes.ca/diabetes-and-you/living-with-type-2-diabetes.

13 "Living with Gestational Diabetes." Canadian Diabetes Association. Accessed December 05, 2015. http://www.diabetes.ca/diabetes-and-you/living-with-gestational-diabetes.

14 "Gestational Diabetes Treatments: Diet, Insulin, & More." WebMD. Accessed December 06, 2015. http://www.webmd.com/baby/tc/gestational-diabetes-treatment-overview.