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Diabetes Canada is your place to find everything you need to gain a deeper understanding of how to live a healthier life. Being newly diagnosed can be an intimidating experience but just know we have the tools and resources you need to succeed. Take action to live your best life.
There are several types of diabetes. This section will help you understand your diagnosis and learn more about how to manage it.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a condition in which the pancreas does not produce any insulin.

The cause of type 1 diabetes remains unknown. It's not caused by eating too much sugar and is not preventable. Researchers believe that type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system destroys the cells that make insulin.

The symptoms of type 1 diabetes can develop quickly. Most people with type 1 diabetes are diagnosed in childhood and early adulthood, but it can appear at any age.

Diabetes Canada is here to help provide information and support so that you can live a healthy life. A positive and realistic attitude toward your diabetes can help you manage it. Talking to other people with type 1 diabetes (or their caregivers) is a great way to learn, and to feel less alone.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which your body cannot make enough insulin, or your body does not properly use the insulin it makes.

You may feel isolated or overwhelmed at times, but management is possible and you're not alone. Type 2 diabetes can be managed with healthy foods, regular exercise and losing weight (if overweight or obese).

Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and managing the condition is not easy. It is important to know that you can live a long and healthy life by keeping your blood sugar levels in the target range set by you and your health-care provider.

Over time, high blood sugar levels can cause complications. Fortunately, good diabetes care and management can prevent or delay the onset of these complications.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs during the second or third trimester of pregnancy.

Between 3 – 20% of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes, depending on their risk factors.

In most cases women with gestational diabetes did not have diabetes before their pregnancy; however after giving birth, the diabetes usually goes away.

Many women with gestational diabetes are able to control their blood sugar levels with lifestyle changes, including diet and physical activity; however, some women will need to inject insulin for better control. Ask your doctor to refer you to a registered dietitian to learn about healthy eating during pregnancy.


Prediabetes refers to blood sugar levels that are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Almost 6 million Canadians have prediabetes.

If left unmanaged, prediabetes can develop into type 2 diabetes—but it doesn't have to be this way. If you have prediabetes, taking steps to manage your blood sugar can change your future to one free of type 2 diabetes.

The good news is that more than half of all cases of type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed! Taking steps now to improve your lifestyle can make a huge difference and lead to a healthier future.

Making healthy changes will take some time, and that's okay. It's best to start with small changes instead of trying to change everything all at once.

Look for ways to make your meals healthier by adding more vegetables to your plate, cooking meals at home more often, choosing whole grain foods, drinking water instead of soda or juice and being mindful of portion sizes.

Get the support you need

Diabetes Canada is here to help provide information and support so that you can live a healthy life. A positive and realistic attitude toward your diabetes can help you manage it. Talking to other people with diabetes is a great way to learn, and to feel less alone.

Your health-care team is there to help you. Depending on your needs and the resources available in your community, your team may include a family doctor, diabetes educator (nurse and/or dietitian), endocrinologist, pharmacist, social worker, exercise physiologist, psychologist, foot-care specialist, eye-care specialist. They can answer your questions about how to manage diabetes and work with you to adjust your food plan, activity and medications.

Support & services

We're Canada's largest resource hub for people with diabetes. Familiarize yourself with our programs and services and get the support you need to help manage diabetes.

For more information, contact or 1-800-BANTING

Virtual Diabetes Education Program

Newly diagnosed or need a refresher on diabetes management? Sign up now for practical tips, live sessions, and a supportive community—all from home.

Contact us for support

For more information, support and to help you find diabetes services in your area.

Diabetes treatments

Learn how each type of diabetes is approached and managed.

A story of hope

“As the parents of an infant newly diagnosed, Liz and Greg had to learn how to make Peyton’s life, and their own lives, as normal as possible.”

Liz and Gregs Toles, parents of Peyton, who lives with type 1 diabetes

Read Peyton's story

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