Diabetes: Type 1

By Kaye Kaneko

Diabetes Type 1

Diabetes Type 1 also called "Juvenile Diabetes" or "Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus", is a chronic autoimmune disorder where the body attacks its own pancreas and destroys its insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. Because of the destroyed cells, the pancreas begins producing little or no insulin, a vital hormone.
What is Type 1 Diabetes?

Diagnosis:

Signs / Symptoms

  • Increased Thirst
  • Frequent Urination
  • Hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred Vision
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Weight Loss
  • Faster Heart Rate

Tests Needed

To diagnose diabetes, your doctor will perform these tests:


Glycated Hemoglobin (A1C) Test - this blood test shows your average blood sugar level for the past 2-3 months. An A1C level > 6.5% on two separate tests indicates that you have diabetes. An A1C between 5.7% - 6.4% indicates pre-diabetes. And anything below 5.7% is considered as normal.


Random Blood Sugar Test - A random blood sugar test will be taken, regardless of when you last ate. A test result of 200mg/dL (11.1mmol/L) or higher suggests diabetes.


Fasting Blood Sugar Test - A blood sample will be taken after an overnight fast. A test result of 126mg/dL (7mmol/L) or higher on two separate tests indicate diabetes. A result of 100-125mg/dL (5.6-6.9mmol/L) is considered as pre-diabetes. And results of less than 100mg/dL (5.6mmol/L) is considered as normal.


Your doctor may also perform these tests:


Oral Glucose Tolerance Test


Urine Tests


Imaging


Other Lab Tests

Research Right Now

There is quite a lot of research going into about Diabetes Type 1. Like how to replace dead Pancreatic Beta-cells, preventing Diabetes Type 1, trying to identify Diabetes Type 1 before cell loss, etc.

Treatment Plans:

Sadly, once you contract Diabetes Type 1, you will have it for the rest of your life. And presently, no cure for Diabetes Type has been discovered. But there are many ways that you can control your blood sugar in order to lead a healthy, balanced and relatively normal life.

Medications

If you have Diabetes Type 1 you will need to use multiple different types of Insulin hormones to control and balance your blood sugar throughout the day.


These are the Rapid-Acting Insulins:

  • Insulin Lispro (aka Humalog)
  • Insulin Glulisine (aka Apidra)
  • Insulin Aspart (aka Novolog)


These are the Long-Acting Insulins:

  • Insulin Glargine (aka Lantus)
  • Insulin Detemir (aka Levemir)


There are also Short-Acting, Intermediate-Acting, and Pre-Mixed Insulins available.

Vaccinations

There are no vaccinations for preventing diabetes or against diabetes. But, there are some vaccines/immunizations that are beneficial to adults with diabetes.

Nutritional Plan

What to Do:


Eat At Regular Intervals - Eating on a schedule can help control your average blood sugar, and can help prevent blood sugar spikes or falls.


Eat Small Meals More Often - Eating smaller meals 5-6 times a day instead of big meals 2-3 times a day is a much better solution for Diabetics. These smaller meals help balance your blood sugar throughout the day, and helps


Follow Normal Nutritional Guidelines - You are like everyone else, just with Diabetes. Eat the recommended daily values for vegetables, fruits, carbohydrates, fats, dairy, etc. Just be more mindful about the amount of sugar, carbs and fats you are consuming. And also be aware of your proportions, especially if you are eating at timed interval meals.


Try Artificial Sweeteners - Since artificial sweeteners do not affect your blood sugar, switching regular sugars to artificial ones in cooking, baking and as additives may help balance your blood sugar. But be careful of their ingredients and calories: some may be better for you than others.



Watch out for:


Carbohydrates! - Carbs have the greatest impact on blood sugar compared to Protein and Fats. Count those Carbs! Be sure to know and check how many carbs are in what you just ate, and use insulin accordingly.


Sugars! - Simple sugars, especially in drinks, are quick to spike your blood sugar; so be careful. Avoid concentrated sweets like soda, candy, pastries and overall processed foods.


Low Blood Sugar! - Low Blood Sugar can be extremely dangerous and bad for your health. Make sure to eat each meal on time, and eat proper proportions. Also, make sure you are going to use the correct dosage of insulin before/after you've eaten.


High Blood Sugar! - High Blood Sugar can be just as unhealthy for you as Low Blood Sugar can. Be careful of the amount you eat, and when you eat. Make sure to use the correct dosage of insulin before/after you've eaten.

Physical Therapy / Exercise

Although your doctor may recommend a different exercise plan for you as an individual, Diabetics should get at least the normal recommended daily amount of exercise as everyone else: 30-minutes of Aerobic exercise a day over a span of 5-days, or 150-minutes per week exercising at least every other day.

Life Expectancy

If your blood sugar is controlled, you are expected to live a normal length life. But if it isn't controlled, you may suffer from medical complications that may shorten your lifespan.

Inform:

Causes

  • Genetics
  • Exposure to certain Viruses
  • Can also be caused by having Vitiligo or Grave's Disease

Prevention

You cannot prevent contracting Diabetes Type 1. But you can prevent getting Diabetes Type 2, since Type 2 is directly linked to your lifestyle.

Living With Diabetes Type 1

When you have Diabetes Type 1, you will have to inject Insulin into yourself for the rest of your life. You will have to be aware of when, what, and how much you eat more than others that don't have Diabetes. And you will always have to have your blood tester, insulin and daily-log with you. You must also never forget to inject insulin before/after meals and check your blood for there could be severe consequences. DO NOT forget to check your carb-to-insulin ratio for an overdosage of insulin could be fatal.


If you use a syringe (standard medical syringe) to inject the Insulin into you, you will need to be conscious of when to re-stock, throw away and where to put them. Also be aware of air bubbles when you are putting the insulin in. Test your blood regularly.


If you are using an Insulin injection pen (A pen which has multiple pre-settings for convenience and accuracy when injecting insulin), be aware of your insulin supply and needles. Test your blood regularly.


If you are using the Insulin Pump ( A pump which is hooked up to a small and compact machine that regularly supplies insulin into your body and can be programmed accordingly for maximum accuracy and regulation), be conscious of the cord that is hooked to the machine and yourself, be aware of the Insulin gauge and test your blood regularly.


Living with Diabetes, you can never donate blood.

World Diabetes Day (WDD)

Friday, Nov. 14th 2014 at 12am

All Over The Globe

Led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), this day unites the global Diabetes community to produce a powerful voice for diabetes awareness and advocacy.