The Tools to Get You on Track
To start off, it's important to understand the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and the different tools that are used to manage either.
Type 1 diabetes is often referred to as "juvenile diabetes" because of its tendency to affect children and young adults. This type of diabetes is characterized by the body's inability to produce enough insulin, a necessary hormone that is used to convert glucose (sugar) and other foods into energy. Type 1 diabetics often employ insulin pumps or packs, a blood-glucose monitor, and diet and exercise to manage their disease.
On the other hand, type 2 diabetics do not produce enough insulin or their bodies just completely ignore it. It has been framed as a lifestyle disease, and one that can often be controlled through diet and exercise. Sometimes, however, a blood-glucose monitor, insulin and/or oral medications are required. Health experts say the majority of type 2 diabetics had no recognizable symptoms prior to being diagnosed.
There are a few numbers to memorize when you’re checking your blood-sugar levels. Your glucose monitor should read between 100 to 140 mg/dL before bedtime and 90 to 130 mg/dL before meals. Above 130 mg/dL before a meal or greater than 180 mg/dL after a meal means your diabetes is out of control. Lower than 70 mg/dL signifies low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia.
DID YOU KNOW? A diabetic's ideal meal plan is not much different than basic guidelines recommended for anyone to maintain a healthy diet. You are not alone!