What's Your Type?
The type of diabetes that you have can change the response that your blood glucose has when you are being physically active. Learn more about the types below.
Type 1 diabetes is a condition caused by relative insulin deficiency after the body's own immune system destroys most of the beta cells of the pancreas that make insulin. Although no one is sure what triggers this autoimmune response, it can happen at any age (although its onset tends to be slower in adults than in youth). Most of the people currently living with type 1 are actually adults who inject or pump insulin daily to survive (and thrive).
Most people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes still make some of their own insulin, but they may be somewhat deficient in it and it doesn't work as well as it should. Although lifestyle changes help control it, many also take diabetes meds and/or insulin to manage blood glucose. Most people with type 2 are adults, but it has become more common among teenagers on the heels of the recent obesity epidemic.
Women can develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy if their blood glucose levels rise too high, especially during the third trimester. This condition is usually diagnosed at 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy with an oral glucose test and may require taking insulin, along with diet changes and exercise. Unborn babies can get too large (9+ pounds), making giving birth difficult, and have other health problems if the mother's glucose levels are not controlled.
I'm Not Sure!
Given the way that diabetes is currently diagnosed, it can sometimes be difficult to tell if someone has type 1, type 2, or another form of diabetes. Many adults who develop type 1 later in life may initially be misdiagnosed with type 2. Regardless of the type, keep in mind that using injected or pumped insulin requires you to be most vigilant in order to manage diabetes when being more active.