Living with Type 1 Diabetes

By Scott Gallerie and Dan LaPointe

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Type 1 Diabetes is where your body doesn't produce insulin. Your immune system mistakenly destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.
Insulin lets glucose go into the cells where your body gets energy from it. Without insulin, glucose stays in your blood and you don't get the energy.
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The major differences between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes.
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The relative amount of people with Type 1 Diabetes per country. Europe, North America and Australia are more affected than Asia, South America and Africa.
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Data from Australia. Notice how the graph peaks at a young age. Also, it is more common in men than in women.

Symptoms

- hunger

- thirst

- more sugar in urine

- fruity odor in breath

- fatigue

- blurred eyesight

Other Problems

All that extra sugar in the blood can damage nerves and capillaries. People with diabetes may lose feeling in their feet. Eye problems may also occur.
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People with diabetes are also at increased risk of heart disease. They could develop kidney problems as well.

Treatment

There is no cure for Type 1 Diabetes, but many of the above complications can be averted through insulin injections.
Diabetics have to monitor their blood sugar throughout the day. They do this by pricking their fingers and having a little machine determine the sugar level from the blood sample. They then determine an appropriate amount of insulin to inject from this reading.
They have to be careful though; excessive insulin can lower blood sugar too much and create hypoglycemia.
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Pumps are directly attached to the person and release insulin right into the blood. This eliminates the hassle of injection.
The Brennan Family Living with Type 1 Diabetes
“It is a 24/7/365 job. We never get to relax and forget about food, whether we’ve exercised too much or too little, insulin injections, blood-sugar testing, or the impact of stress, a cold, a sunburn, and on and on. So many things make each day a risky venture when you live with T1D.”
— Mary Vonnegut, adult, Rhode Island