I commend Susan Olp for her article on type 2 diabetes. It was very thorough in better understanding of type 2 diabetes, and how diet and exercise can manage symptoms of this disease. There is however another kind of diabetes called Type 1. There is deep confusion in understanding the difference between the two types of diabetes. My interest in this matter is because I have an 11-year-old granddaughter with Type 1, and I am continually amazed at the misunderstandings about the difference between the two types of diabetes.
In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas has been attacked by the autoimmune system and can no longer produce the hormone insulin. The cells that make the insulin have been destroyed by the autoimmune system. Without insulin, the body’s cells cannot turn glucose (sugar) into energy.
People with Type 1 depend on insulin injections throughout every day to replace the insulin their body cannot produce. They must test their blood glucose levels several times throughout the day. Without insulin the body burns its own fats as a substitute which releases chemical substances in the blood. Without ongoing injections of insulin, the dangerous chemical substances will accumulate and can be life threatening if not treated. A person with Type 1 diabetes cannot alter dependence on insulin based on diet and exercise, but instead depends on artificial insulin to live.