Originally Posted by Nori
Hi. I am dating someone who has type 1 diabetes. My mother has type 2 but I know nothing about type 1. I was wondering if anyone could give me some information on the differences between 1 and 2 and also how I can help, like good foods, bad foods.. any other advise would be greatly appreciated.. I really want to learn as much as I can.
Hi Nori, and welcome.
The difference between T1 and T2, is that T1 is an autoimmune disease that has caused the body's own immune system to attack the insulin producing cells of the pancreas. So a person with T1 does not produce any insulin, while a T2 usually (but not always) does produce insulin, but can't utilize it properly.
T1s need to balance their carb intake with their exercise level and the insulin they take. More carb means you should take more insulin. More exercise means you will need to take less.
I'll offer up a personal suggestion here and advise you to not become the "diet police" and say things like "you aren't allowed to eat that, you have diabetes". A person with T1 can eat anything they want as long as they compensate for it with the right amount of insulin. Or, as I often do, some people with treat themselves when they are low. Rather than eat a glucose tablet (yuck) I will eat some yummy candy to bring my blood sugar back up. And it's really annoying when some well-meaning person suggest I can't eat that. ;-))
Anyway, as for good vs bad food - those are the same for everyone. Diabetic or not. McDonalds more than once a month or so is bad for you. Candy and chocolate bars and chips and soda on a regular basis are bad for everyone. And eating veggies and fruits and lean meats and lots of fibre are also good for everyone. So that is what your friend (and you) should be eating.
Hope this helps a bit. And it's really nice to hear that you are trying to learn.