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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.

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Managing Blood Sugar Levels

For people with diabetes, managing blood sugar levels can be tricky. Learn how to take care of your blood sugar levels when they are too low or too high:

About Diabetes and your health


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