What is diabetes?


What is diabetes?


Diabetes is a chronic, incurable disease that occurs when the body doesn't produce any or enough insulin, leading to an excess of sugar in the blood. 

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. It can be thought of as a key to unlock the doors of sugar channels in the body which help sugar (glucose) to move from the blood into the cells. This is how the body controls blood glucose. 

If you have diabetes, the glucose in your blood cannot pass into your cells to be used or stored as energy, causing high blood glucose (hyperglycemia).


The difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes?


When you have Type 1 diabetes, there is no key to unlock the door

·     Exogenous insulin (insulin injected from the outside) will be needed to help open the door to allow glucose to enter cells.



When you have Type 2 diabetes, the key is present but is unable to unlock the door, also known as insulin resistance.

·     Lifestyle changes, medication and possibly injected insulin will be needed to help glucose enter the cell.


Neither type is better or worse; they are just different in how they arise and their management.


What are the main causes of type 2 diabetes?

-       Lack of physical activity

-       High blood pressure (Hypertension)

-       High cholesterol

-       History of gestational diabetes

-       History of pre-diabetes

-       Overweight

-       Genetics

However, unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes can be prevented or even reversed with healthy eating, physical activity, and medication!




About Diabetes. (2017). Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 13 May 2017, from https://www.diabetes.ca/about-diabetes