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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What Kind Of Exercise Can I Do With Gestational Diabetes?

Exercise during Pregnancy with Gestational Diabetes

Lifestyle modifications associated with gestational diabetes do not end in dieting alone. Exercise is as much a part of these lifestyle changes, even though you are pregnant. Most pregnant women are scared of doing exercises for fear that they might harm the baby. However, exercising is actually beneficial even for pregnant women, especially for those with gestational diabetes, since it helps keep their weight in check. It increases your body’s insulin response, hence lowering the blood sugar levels more efficiently. It can also relieve stress during pregnancy, which is why exercising is highly recommended for everyone. …….Exercise I Can Do With Gestational Diabetes?

Exercise I Can Do With Gestational Diabetes

There are several sports that are still deemed safe for pregnant women. Low impact and non-contact sports can still be done, such as the following:

  • Walking – This low impact exercise is considered as a good exercise for most people, pregnant or not. Even simply walking down the block to the market or to work is already exercising, so you can even make this a part of your routine.
  • Swimming – What is great about swimming is that it works for many muscles of your body, such as the muscles of your arms and legs. It helps keep you in tip top shape. However, swimming might be difficult during the latter part of your pregnancy, so it is only advisable during the first and second trimesters.
  • Cycling – This is a good aerobic workout even for pregnant women in their early and middle trimesters. Once again, it targets the lower limb muscles, although it is a great cardio workout as well.
  • Aerobics – Gestational diabetics can largely benefit from aerobics, since it helps keep the heart and lungs strong, making it a great cardio workout.

exercise i can do with gestational diabetes

Guidelines for Exercising during Pregnancy with Gestational Diabetes-exercise I can do with gestational diabetes

Even though exercising is good for those with gestational diabetes, there are still some reminders that you need to take not of before you start with your exercise routine.

  • Consult your doctor. This is the most important thing that you should do before you engage in any exercise program. Generally speaking, it is okay to exercise while pregnant and with gestational diabetes, as long as there is no chance of pre-term labor or any other co-existing conditions that might be detrimental to you and your baby’s health. Your doctor will tell you about things you should watch out for while exercising, as well as any limitations in terms of amount or movement.
  • Provide proper ventilation while exercising. Since you are pregnant, you need to keep in mind that you should not exercise outdoors on very hot days, since your body has the danger of heating up and causing damage to your unborn baby. Exercise in a well-ventilated or air-conditioned place, and avoid going out between 10 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon.
  • Do warm up and cool down exercises. You should also start at a slow pace so as to avoid your body from heating up too fast. Warming up can also help your muscles prepare for exerting more effort, while cooling down is important in getting your heart rate back to normal.
  • Drink lots of water. This will prevent dehydration, in turn preventing pre-term labor and high body temperature, which may not be good for your baby. Water is the perfect and safest way to rehydrate fluids for pregnant women, since water is essential for almost all body functions.

You can do things that you love for exercise as long as your doctor approves, and if you want to.  It’s very important to do something everyday, even just a 10 minute walk after eating, to help keep your blood sugar in check.  Aside from the aforementioned guidelines, you can learn more about exercising for gestational diabetics and other pertinent information when you sign up for our newsletter here.