Biology of the disease

  • Type 1 diabetes, or T1DM, once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin, a hormone needed to allow glucose to enter cells to produce energy.
  • In people with diabetes, the body either can't make or can't respond to insulin properly.
  • Type 2 diabetes can be caused by changes in multiple organs and hormones in the body. Over time, these changes lead to high sugar levels. This is the most common form of diabetes, account for 90%-95% of all cases.


  • What you eat makes a big difference when you have diabetes. When you build your diet, four key things to focus on are carbs, fiber, fat, and salt. Here's what you should know about each of them. Counting grams of carbohydrate, and splitting them evenly between meals, will help you control your blood sugar. If you eat more carbohydrates than your insulin supply can handle, your blood sugar level goes up. If you eat too little, your blood sugar level may fall too low. Fiber helps with digestion and blood sugar control. You feel fuller, so you begin to eat less.
  • A good guideline for diabetics is to limit total carbohydrates consumption to 45-60 grams per meal. A good guideline for diabetic plate of food would be 1/4 protein, 1/4 starch, 1/2 non starchy vegetables. Daily the ratio of percentage of grams in the diet for a diabetic should be: 55:20:25. Nutrient dense carbohydrates are recommended: example, wheat instead of white bread, whole fruit not juice, ect. because fiber does not raise blood sugar.


  • For someone without diabetes, a fasting blood sugar on awakening should be under 100 mg/dl. Before meal normal sugars are 70-99 mg/dl.
  • If you have diabetes, your blood sugar levels before meals from 80-130 mg/dl and your levels 1-2 hours after meals under 180.
  • There is also a test called hemoglobin A1C and this test gives your average reading over the last 2 or 3 months.
  • A person with type 2 must also have sweets or candy to maintain glucose levels.

Daily Life

  • When you have type 2 diabetes, physical activity is an important component of your treatment plan. It's also important to have a healthy meal plan and maintain your blood glucose level through medications or insulin.
  • If you stay fit and active throughout your life, you'll be able to better control your diabetes and keep your blood glucose level good.
  • Exercise with type 1 makes it easier to control your blood glucose level. It benefits people with type 1 because it increases your insulin sensitivity. After exercising, a person with type 1 should test he/she blood levels.

Key things

  1. Make every meal well balanced
  2. Coordinate your meals and medications
  3. Avoid sugar sweetened beverages
  4. Learn about carbohydrate counting and portion sizes

Personal story


Created with images by Jill A. Brown - "Diabetes"

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