Living with Type 1 Diabetes

By: Chloe Nelson

General Background of Diabetes

Diabetes is a deficiency of insulin in the body. It is either caused by the body not producing any insulin, type 1 diabetes, or the insulin not functioning correctly, type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is harmful because it can cause high blood pressure, which can lead to death. Insulin opens up the cells so glucose can enter the cell and give your body energy. When you don't have insulin that opens the cells, glucose gets into our blood. This is about Type 1 diabetes, when your body refuses to produce insulin. It usually occurs during adolescence, and lasts our entire lives.
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Recommendations

Diet

Due to your diabetes, you need to make some changes to your diet. You need to start limiting certain types of food, and focusing more on the content of foods. What i suggest is making a meal plan. Every Sunday prepare your meals for the next week. There is a list of things you cannot eat. Most of these contain a lot of fats and sugars which are especially harmful to your bodies. Nachos, cinnamon rolls, purchased donuts and baked goods, restaurant fries, coffee drinks, purchased cookies, fried chicken, biscuits and sausage gravy, purchased pies, battered fish dinners, purchased smoothies, fruit juice beverages, processed lunch meat, deep fried Chinese entrees, restaurant hamburgers, frozen meals, regular soft drinks, purchased cakes, flavored water, frozen pizza, milk shakes, and restaurant pizza. All of these things you need to cut back on. You don't need to completely give them up, but you need to monitor how often you eat them and how much. The main thing is cut back on sugar and processed foods. You also need to stay away from carbs, since it converts into sugars.Focus more on organic and healthier choices. Things that you should eat more of are, vegetables, whole grains, fruits, non-fat dairy, beans, lean meats, poultry, and fish. If your diet mostly comprises of these things you more than likely will stay healthy and keep your blood sugar levels in a adequate place.
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Blood sugar Monitoring and adjustment

An important part of staying healthy with diabetes in checking your blood sugar level. Checking your blood sugar levels prevents long term complications. One thing that is very important for you to do is make a log of all your results. That is so whenever you go to your doctor they can see how you' re doing and they can say if you need to change something or if you're doing okay. One way of checking your blood sugar level is with a blood sugar monitor. The steps of using these are:

1. After washing your hands insert a test strip into your meter

2. use your lancing device on the side of your fingertip to get a drop of blood

3. Touch and hold the edge of the test strip to the drop of blood

4. Your blood glucose level will appear on the meter's display.

This can be different depending on the advice. Some devices require blood for your arm and other parts of your body. CGM systems are placed onto your stomach and take your level like that. For type 1 diabetes you need to test your blood sugar 4 to 8 times a day. It should be between 80 to 120 mg/dl for people 59 and younger, and between 100 to 140 for people 60 and older. With type 1 diabetes you also need to take insulin shots everyday, since your body is not producing insulin. You need to do two injections everyday.

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Exercise and Lifestyle choices

Exercise is very important for people with diabetes. Exercise makes it easier to control your blood glucose levels. It is very beneficial for people with type 1 diabetes, since it increases your insulin sensitivity, which means your body does not need as much insulin to function properly. What you should do is create a weekly work-out plan. Decide what you're going to do that week and stick to that plan. You need at least 30 minutes of exercise everyday in order to stay healthy and keep your blood glucose levels within a good range. Anything that increases your heart rate for an extended period of time will lower your blood sugar. Jogging, aerobics, yoga, boxing, all these things will keep your health in check, you just need to make sure you do them. A lot of your lifestyle choices will probably change after getting diagnosed. Your diet, exercise level, everything will have to improve in order to keep you healthy. Another thing some people do with diabetes is go to therapy, so they can cope with all the chances in their lives.They talk to other people that understand their situation, and that helps them.
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Why Staying fit is Important

Staying fit is something that you must do with diabetes. Due to the increased blood sugar, it is important to keep your body in a good place. For you guys that is through insulin shots, exercise, and a healthy diet. The diet is the most important factor for you guys because your diet can cause more problems for you since your body doesn't produce insulin. Once the exercise is put into place, the insulin kicks in and the glucose levels go down, keeping you at a healthy range.
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Professionals you can see

There are three professionals that I recommend you see. The first recommendation is a dietitian. They are basically diet counselors. They will give you a diet plan that is good specifically for you. With a dietitian you a ensured to have a healthy diet and you will keep your blood glucose levels within a good range. What you do is sign up for a consultation and you will decide on a healthy diet plan that is right for you. The next professional is a primary care physician. Their job is to come up with an exercise and lifestyle plan that is right for you. They will basically give you a layout for the future. They are also the ones that will run tests and let you know how you are doing. The final professional is a psychiatrist. Learning about a disease can be scary and stressful, which s why its good to tell a trained counselor your problems. Psychiatrists are useful because all diseases have a mental impact, especially with so man things changing.
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Citations

Insulin Nation5 Tips for Exercise with Type 1 - Insulin Nation. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://insulinnation.com/living/5-tips-to-better-exercise-with-type-1-diabetes/

Type 1 Diabetes and Exercise - Why You Should Stay Fit and What Exercises to Do. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/type-1-diabetes/type-1-diabetes-exercise

Type 1 Diabetes Lifestyle Changes - Type 1 Diabetes Health Information - NY Times Health. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/type-1-diabetes/lifestyle-changes.html