People with type 1 diabetes don’t produce insulin. You can think of it as not having a key. People with type 2 diabetes don’t respond to insulin as well as they should and later in the disease often don’t make enough insulin. You can think of it as having a broken key.
Loading the player...Understanding the Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Dr. Jean-Francois Yale, MD, CSPQ, FRCPC, Endocrinologist, creates a story based description on the differences between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes.
Loading the player...What is the Prevalence of Diabetes? Dr Richard Bebb, MD, ABIM, FRCPC, discusses What is your Prevalence of Diabetes.
Loading the player...Diabetes Tests and Targets Lori Berard, RN, CDE, Registered Nurse, talks about what tests and targets are important for patients living with Diabetes.
Diabetes is becoming more prevalent for a number of reasons.First of all, there’s two types, two main types of diabetes. There’s type 1 diabetes, where individuals run out of insulin, and that tends to occur more in younger people. And then there’s type 2, which is the more common type. And that’s the type of diabetes that’s becoming more and more common, and it’s for a number of reasons.
First of all, to a certain degree it’s a disease of aging, the older you get the less insulin your body makes, and hence your blood sugars tend to drift up, but it’s also a disease of lifestyle.
We tend to be more sedentary earlier in life. In the old days you kicked the kids out of the house and sent them to the park and said don’t come back until dinner. Now they don’t go to the park, they sit in front of the TV, they play on their Gameboy and they are not physically active, and that sets the stage for weight change and an increase in blood sugars.
And we’re seeing type 2 diabetes which we didn’t used to in individuals under the age of 20 now, which was very very unusual 20, 30 years ago. So it’s a lifestyle issue, it’s an aging issue, and there is also a significant genetic component so if either of your parents had type 2 diabetes you are more likely to develop it. Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Diabetes Now Patient Communication System Presenter: Dr. Richard Bebb, Endocrinologist, Victoria, BC
Local Practitioners: Endocrinologist
Despite our advances in the treatment of diabetes, many patients still don’t achieve target. Although many are comfortable with the traditional medications that we use to treat diabetes, many also seek alternatives. And there are alternatives in complementary and alternative medication.
Generally speaking, complementary medication means taking a non-traditional, non-Western medication in addition to those, while alternative medication means taking it instead of that.
So what’s the data with diabetes? Well there have been studies looking at a number of non-traditional, complementary medications for diabetes. Unfortunately many of them are of short duration, and not sufficiently powered to make clear conclusions that they are of benefit.
There are a number of health products that have been studied, particularly some at least for three months, and have been showing promise with at least a reduction in the A1-C of about five percent. And there’s a list of those available in the chapter on complementary and alternative medicine in the Canadian Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Guidelines.
I would like to stress that there are some that are more popular and commonly used for diabetes, such as chromium and vitamin D, and these have actually been studied in a little more detail, and unfortunately they have not been shown to be of benefit in the treatment of diabetes.
There are a number of other complementary and alternative therapies such as yoga, acupuncture and hands-on treatment such as chiropractic, massage etc. Unfortunately, many of these just don’t have studies specific to diabetes to be able to make comments whether they are of benefit or not. Some, such as acupuncture, have shown some promise in some of the complications of diabetes, such as gastroparesis or neuropathy, but again they’re very limited.
So we recommend that there are some natural health products that are showing promise for the treatment of diabetes and they should be explored further. There are some that have clearly been shown to be not of benefit, and the most important thing is that patients should be telling their healthcare providers if they are taking any of these natural healthcare products, because not only can some of them have side effects, but some of them may actually contain non-declared medicinal products.
The important thing is that many people think that because they’re natural health products, they’re natural, and they don’t have any side effects. And that’s not the case, many of them can have significant side effects or interactions with their other medications. So it is very important that people with diabetes let their healthcare provider know if they are taking any of these products.
For more information about complementary and alternative medicine for diabetes, speak to your physician, diabetes nurse educator or endocrinologist. Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Diabetes Now Patient Communication System Presenter: Dr. Loren Grossman, Endocrinologist, Toronto, ON