A Day in the Life of a Diabetic

By: Reagan Miller, Kammi Etter, and Carson Spinale

What is Type 1 Diabetes?

Type 1 Diabetes is a long-term condition that causes the pancreas to not make enough insulin. This can create many problems. Because there is no insulin to break down sugar in your blood, when you eat something sugary, like candy, the sugar stays in your bloodstream. This is because you do not have enough insulin to break it down. This can lead to high blood sugar levels which can be unhealthy if they get too high or too low. Most people have blood sugar levels of 80-180 because they have enough insulin to break apart the glucose. However, in your body the levels are much higher.

All About Type 1 Diabetes

Healthy Food Choices for You

It is very important to watch what you are eating. For the most part, you can eat anything your friends do as long as you are careful. For example, if you are eating a bag of candy, it would be smart to only eat a few pieces rather than the whole bag. Like anyone else, it is good to keep a variety of foods in your diet like fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, and dairy. However, some are better for you than others; eating meat and/or beans would be better for you than eating bread or pasta, because they have less sugar, so your blood sugar levels won't be as high. For specific information on your unique circumstances visit your local nutritionist or dietician. This person will educate you on what would be best for your diet.

Monitoring Your Blood Sugar

The most important thing about staying healthy is regularly checking your blood sugar levels. (For more information on how to do this, go to http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/blood-glucose-control/checking-your-blood-glucose.html ). You should check these levels before and after every meal, after you wake up, before you go to bed, and throughout the day.

Your primary care physician will also give you a prescription of insulin to keep these levels stable. There are a 4 different types of insulin (rapid-acting, regular or short-acting, intermediate-acting, and long-acting); your physician may tell you that you only need to take one kind or a combination of them. There are multiple different ways you can get this insulin into your body. The first, and most common, is through a shot, this can already have the insulin in it or may require you to put it in. The second method is called an insulin pump. If you choose this device, you do not have to do as much work; it connects to a needle that is in your skin. The device pumps insulin into your body on a scheduled time. This method is preferred among many people, but the needle must be taken out and put in a different area (the needle isn't that big, no need to worry)- the best spot is in your abdomen (when moving the needle, it is suggested that you keep the same general are but in a different spot)- every 3 days or so. Also it can be easily tangled so it is important to be careful while using this method. There are many more ways to get your insulin though these are the most common.

If you are using a method in which you have to put the insulin in yourself (for example, needle and syringe) it is best to do this at the same time each day. Also, you should do this before you eat a meal or snack, before and after exercise, after you wake up, and before you go to bed. You may need to do this more often if you are sick or traveling.

Ask your certified diabetic educator to help you find the best method and times for you.

Go outside!

Living with diabetes can be difficult but it is manageable if you take care of your body. One main way you should take care of your body is exercise. Whether it's going for a walk, playing with friends, or joining a sports team. Aim for 60 minutes of exercise 5-6 days of the week. Exercise is important for children with diabetes for many reasons. Exercising your body strengthens the bones and muscles as well as reducing the risk of heart disease. Regular exercise offers kids better coordination, balance, strength, and endurance and can increase self-esteem. This can also help you manage your weight which is useful because too much fat in a diabetics body keeps insulin from working.


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World Diabetes Day

Saturday, Nov. 14th, 12am