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Type 1 vs. type 2 diabetes: how they differ

In type 1 diabetes…

  • The body’s own immune system destroys cells that produce insulin. People need to inject themselves with insulin multiple times a day
  • Meal planning is very important, to keep blood sugars at the right levels

In type 2 diabetes…

  • The body does not make enough insulin or is unable to use it properly
  • People need to manage their type 2 diabetes through regular exercise and a healthy diet
  • Some people may also need to take oral medications and/or insulin

Who can develop type 2 diabetes?

Anyone can develop diabetes. Some things that indicate an increased risk of having diabetes are:

  • Having a close relative with the disease
  • Being a member of a high-risk group including Aboriginal, Hispanic, South Asian, Asian or African descent
  • High blood pressure, cholesterol or being overweight

Should I get tested?

Diabetes Canada urges all Canadians over 40 years old to be tested for diabetes at least once every three years. This can be done using a simple blood test.

A man and woman jogging on a beach.

Making Good Choices

There are things you can do right away to help manage your risk when it comes to type 2 diabetes.


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