Living With Type 1 Diabetes

The Reality and Clarity Edition: By Natalie Galaviz

The Biology of Diabetes

You're diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes because your pancreas no longer produces . insulin. Your body's immune system literally attacks and destroys beta cells, which are the insulin producing cells in your pancreas. It's onset is due to genetic factors and environmental triggers. Although it isn't caused by a particular lifestyle, it quickly changes it after your diagnosed. Approximately 80 per day are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, so remember you're not alone. (JDFR)

So What to Do for My Diet?

Healthy carbohydrates, such as: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, peas and low fat diary products are your friends. Foods that are rich in fibers such as: nuts, beans, peas, lentils, whole wheat flour and bran help control blood sugar levels. Fish is recommended to be eaten at least twice a week because it has less total fat than meat an poultry but also is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. You can still eat fats, but they have to be good fats. Good fats are avocados, almonds, pecans, walnuts and oils, but are still to be eaten sparingly because all fats are high in calories. If you're interested in viewing a sample menu and more tips, visit www.mayoclinic.com/health/diabetes-diet/DA00027 (Mayo Clinic)

Blood Sugar Monitoring & Adjustment:

Because you're diabetic, it is important to keep track of your blood glucose to make sure it's not too high or too low. There are several ways you can self-monitor your levels in just a few minutes. For an example, with an ACCU CHEK, you simply prick your finger and draw blood so the hand held device can analyze your blood. It will give you a number on the screen which is your blood glucose level. Target ranges are between 70 and 1250 mg/dl2 before meals and under 180 mg/dl2 after meals. It is recommended to talk to your doctor about the most appropriate method of monitoring for you. (ACCU CHEK)


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An ACCU-CHEK is used to read blood glucose levels for diabetics. This makes it easier for them to regulate their blood sugar levels.


"Pumping Iron"

Whether it's lifting weights, taking a jog with the dog or breaking our an old Gene Simmons workout video, exercising is important for your over health and wellness. An active lifestyle for people with TP1D helps reduce the risk for certain diseases, lower daily insulin requirement and prevents diabetes related complications. (JDFR) But, because Type 1 diabetics are at risk for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) you have to take extra precautions before, during and after workouts. Make sure to check your blood glucose levels before exercising. If they are low, eat foods with fiber and carbs and be sure to be hydrated. If feeling sick or light headed during activity, be sure to take a break. Check levels after workout, hydrate and maybe have a little snack to get levels back to normal. (American Diabetes Association)


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Professions Geared Towards Helping You!

Dietitians translate information about nutrition into practical advice to help people make health-conscious decisions about food. They also assess, diagnose and treat diet-related problems and aim to raise awareness of food and health-related problems to prevent future complications. (Prospects) A Certified Diabetes Educator is a health professional who possesses comprehensive knowledge of and experience in pre-diabetes, diabetes prevention, and management. CDEs educate and support people affected by diabetes to help them understand and manage their condition. (NCBDE) Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in providing medical care to people who are suffering from problems affecting their feet, ankles, or lower legs. Common ailments that podiatrists treat in regards to diabetics are legs and feet such as Peripheral Artery Disease. (Career Thoughts)


Wondering Where I Got My Info?

JDFR. (2011, March). Type 1 Diabetes. Retrieved from:http://jdrf.org/about-jdrf/fact-sheets/type-1-diabetes-facts/


Mayo Clinic. (2013, April). Diabetes: Diet details. Retrieved from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/diabetes-diet/DA00027


ACCU CHEK. (n.d.). Diabetes management: self-monitoring blood glucose. Retrieved from: https://www.accu-chek.com/us/glucose-monitoring/self-monitoring-overview.html


JDFR. (n.d.) Don’t Sweat It! Exercise and Type 1 Diabetes. Retrieved from: http://jdrf.org/blog/2013/dont-sweat-it-exercise-and-type-1-diabetes/


American Diabetes Association. (n.d.) Physical Activity/Exercise and Diabetes. Retrieved from: http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/27/suppl_1/s58.full


Prospects. (2012, August). Dietitian: Job Description and Typical Work Activities. Retrieved from: http://www.prospects.ac.uk/dietitian_job_description.htm


NCBDE. (n.d.). What is a CDE? National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbde.org/certification_info/what-is-a-cde/


Career Thoughts. (n.d.). Podiatrist Job Description. Retrieved from: http://careerthoughts.com/podiatrist-jobs