What is the Difference Between Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational Diabetes?

What is the Difference Between Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational Diabetes?

Diabetes is a very common condition among the older population. Almost all people are familiar with this condition and they know that in order to manage this disease, one has to cut down on his/her sugar consumption. However, did you know that there are actually three types of diabetes? Although all three of them involve high blood sugar in the body, they have distinct differences that call for classification.

Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

Those who congenitally have diabetes are classified under type 1 diabetes. This is often dubbed as juvenile diabetes because it is most common among children. However, it can still be diagnosed among adults. This type of diabetes is an autoimmune condition that permanently destroys the beta cells in the pancreas, which are responsible for producing insulin. Hence, the body can no longer produce any insulin.

Symptoms for type 1 diabetes is the same as that of type 2—there is thirst, fatigue, and frequent urination. However, people with type 1 diabetes mellitus are usually thin as they tend to lose weight since glucose is not properly absorbed by the body.

Treatment for type 1 diabetes involves insulin therapy. People should also make permanent lifestyle changes, such as having a healthy diet and becoming physically active. If not controlled or treated, this condition can lead to several complications such as heart disease, kidney disease, retinopathy, and stroke.

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

The most common and well-known type of diabetes is type 2 diabetes mellitus. It affects millions of people all over the world. Unlike type 1 diabetes, this type of diabetes is caused by lifestyle factors, such as being obese, having high blood pressure, and having high cholesterol. The beta cells of the pancreas still produce insulin, but this insulin is no longer effectively used by the body, thus resulting to insulin resistance and hyperglycemia. It is only during the advanced stages of type 2 diabetes mellitus that the beta cells can become damaged, hence resulting to insulin deficiency.

Treatment starts with diet modification and physical activity in order to lose weight. Oral hypoglycemic agents will be prescribed, and, depending on the severity of the illness, you may be asked to regularly monitor your blood sugar levels at home. If the oral medications are no longer working, you might also need to subject yourself to insulin therapy.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes, as its name suggests, happens only to pregnant women and is diagnosed during the second or third trimester. This is caused by the hormonal changes happening in your body. The hormones that are made by the placenta resist insulin, thus letting glucose stay in your bloodstream. This then causes high blood sugar. Moreover, your insulin needs as a pregnant woman increases by two or three times than the normal insulin needs because of the growing fetus inside your womb. All these factors pile up, giving you a condition known as gestational diabetes.

Women with gestational diabetes should control their blood glucose levels, as high blood sugar can have detrimental effects on both the mother and the baby. It is important to monitor your blood glucose levels regularly and to practice eating healthy and engaging in physical activities.

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Fitting Sweets into Your Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan

Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan-Fitting In Sweets

Just like the people afflicted with the more common type 2 diabetes mellitus, women suffering from gestational diabetes should also keep a close watch on their diet. Since glucose comes from ar the food that they eat, it is important that they should take note of what they eat so that they are able keep their blood glucose levels in check. One way to do this is to make a gestational diabetes meal plan. In order to create this, you must know how much carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and sugar you need to include in your diet.

What Should You Eat?

The key to gestational diabetes meal planning is to eat a balanced diet. Remember, there is nothing that is forbidden to you – not even sweets. However, these should be eaten in moderation. That being said, it is essential to include a variety of foods in your meal plan: vegetables; fruits; milk and milk products; meat, poultry, and fish; and bread, rice, and pasta.

The last food group is full of carbohydrates, and these are the ones that are broken down into glucose and used by the body. Nevertheless, this does not mean that you should avoid eating carbohydrates altogether, since that is not an option. Carbohydrates are still needed by the body, as they are the main sources of energy for the body. What you can do is to moderate your intake of carbohydrates; that is, only consume not more than three servings for each of the main meals. It is also important to choose foods that are broken down into glucose slowly, since this helps avoid spikes in a woman’s blood glucose level. Examples of these foods are whole grain breads and plain yogurts. You can also opt to combine carbohydrates with protein-rich foods so as to balance your diet.

But What About Sweets?

gestational diabetes meal planAs for sweets, it is a generally accepted fact that these foods should be avoided because of their little to none nutritional value, and at the same time adverse effects on one’s blood sugar levels. However, it is not wise to completely obliterate sugar-rich foods in one’s diet, since sugar is also another source of energy for the body. One way to incorporate sweets into your diet is to eat a slightly lower amount of carbohydrates in a specific meal, and then allow yourself a little bit of sugar in return. You can also add sweets into your meal if the food you are eating has a low glycemic index, meaning glucose is broken down slowly. Remember, you cannot indulge in sweets, but you can have a little bit of it in your diet.

If you really have a sweet tooth and cannot seem to get enough of sweet foods, you can opt to use artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Equal. These can be used even during pregnancy, and does not have any adverse effect on the mother or the fetus. Do not forget to drink plenty of water, as it still remains the first choice of fluids for moms-to-be with gestational diabetes.

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