As of 2020, 1 in 3 people in North America will be effected by diabetes. There are two types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Both types involve fluctuations in blood sugar and respond to changes in diet, exercise and lifestyle.
Type 1 diabetes is the result of a problem with the pancreas, an organ that converts food into fuel that the cells of the body use to function. Among other functions, the pancreas produces insulin, which is a hormone that “unlocks” muscle cells to allow those cells to absorb sugar from the blood and lower blood glucose levels. People with type 1 diabetes do not produce insulin; this prevents cells from absorbing sugar from the blood, which leaves blood glucose at dangerously high levels. Those with type 1 diabetes use insulin injections to help their body cells absorb blood glucose.
Type 2 diabetes may develop because of a combination of genetics and lifestyle choices. If you have a parent with diabetes, your risk for developing it increases. The most common cause of type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance, which means the body cells have become resistant to the effects of insulin so they don’t absorb sugar like they should. Type 2 diabetes is often the result of lifestyle choices, especially those choices that lead to being overweight or obese. These lifestyle choices include lack of exercise, unhealthy meal planning choices, and being overweight or obese.