What Is Type 1 Diabetes

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Type 1 Diabetes

Causes Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age. It is most often diagnosed in children, adolescents, or young adults. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas by special cells, called beta cells. The pancreas is below and behind the stomach. Insulin is needed to move blood sugar (glucose) into cells. Inside the cells, glucose is stored and later used for energy. With type 1 diabetes, beta cells produce little or no insulin. Without enough insulin, glucose builds up in the bloodstream instead of going into the cells. This buildup of glucose in the blood is called hyperglycemia. The body is unable to use the glucose for energy. This leads to the symptoms of type 1 diabetes. The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. Most likely, it is an autoimmune disorder. This is a condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue. With type 1 diabetes, an infection or another trigger causes the body to mistakenly attack the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. The tendency to develop autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes, can be passed down through families. Symptoms HIGH BLOOD SUGAR The following symptoms may be the first signs of Continue reading >>

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  1. Meegan Follock

    Diabetes forces me to carefully plan out adventures and travels, but has not prevented me from some pretty amazing physical challenges. I spent my entire junior year of college studying abroad, went on a two-week hiking trip through immense mountain ranges, ran my first 10K last year, and ride my bike 13 miles into work most mornings.

  2. Mags Hussey

    My first waking thought is what's my blood glucose level? Not 'I have to pee' or coffee or cigarette like other people. I test my bgl, it takes 30 seconds total (get strip out box, stick it in the meter the correct orientation, prick finger, squeeze finger, sometimes no blood comes, prick finger again. Put right amount of blood on strip, if not enough it gives an error reading. Eventually, hopefully without too many wasted strips and finger pricks, get bgl result. Sometimes it's low, eat glucose tablet before getting out of bed to pee. Retest in 15 minutes. Sometimes it's healthy range, input my carbohydrate and protein intake I will be eating for breakfast into my meter (first having input food into myfitnesspal to get carb grams and protein grams, then divide protein grams in half), meter suggests an insulin dosage. I have to think if I am going to be more or less active in the next 5 hours and decide if the meter's suggestion is ok or should be decreased or increased based on that predicted activity. Then actually draw up the fast acting insulin, and inject it (remembering to rotate sites or I get lumps of hard fat) and wait for the insulin to kick in before eating breakfast. The length of time waiting depends on how high or low in the healthy range my bgl was. If my waking bgl is high all bets are off. I have to take a blood test for ketones which is basically the same process as a bgl test. Depending on how high the bgl is and how high the ketones are, I have to increase the meter's suggestion of insulin dosage. Draw up and inject rapid insulin. No breakfast as that will just add fuel to the fire. Drink lots of water instead to flush out glucose and ketones and correct my dehydration. Stay in my room as I am a wreck physically and emotionally and will rip people's head off just because my bgl is high. I should also add that in this early morning time frame I have to inject my routine long acting insulin. I have to write down my bgl and food and long and short acting insulin to see patterns. Once I see a pattern eg I was high three days in a row on waking, I need to make a decision on what caused that high bgl. Was it a late night snack that needed more rapid insulin at that time, did I have a nocturnal hypoglycaemic event I overcorrected (overate carbs), is it a stage in my menstrual cycle, am I menopausal, or am I stressed, or sick, or my medication changed? Then I have to address the long acting insulin I have at the night time dose. I might then be stable in the morning for three days and then the pattern shifts again and emergency hypo and hyper bgl treatment, plus trouble shooting has to restart.
    This is the first 5 minutes of the day. Repeat for every meal and snack. If I feel 'funny' I have to test as I could be having a high or low blood sugar, or it could be my low blood pressure or anxiety. I have to test before I drive so I don't hypo and crash the car. I test before bed so I don't go to bed too low. If I wake at night I test as I might be high or low. I had a dear friend die of a nocturnal hypo when we were both aged 28. Repeat for exercise, shopping in a mall, a long walk, exams, a stressful event.

    There is no holiday or even 4 hour break from T1 diabetes. It is relentless. It wears you out. We all eventually get burn out. Most of us experience mental illness. Food is our medicine and our poison. Insulin is our medicine and our poison. We are the only people who draw our own blood, interpret the results, decide on medication dosage changes and deliver potentially fatal insulin by needle many times a day. We have to be our own dietitians and count carbs and protein, know how our activity and exercise will change our bgl and take action to alter insulin and/or food to avoid high and low BGLs. We walk a tight rope every minute. I've done over 100,000 finger pricks and 46,000 insulin injections. My bgl control is relatively good. A typical day with T1 diabetes is hell.

  3. Shambhavi Varma

    Well, being a type 1 diabetic isnt a cake walk, especially in college as college is all about spontaneity and type 1 vehemently disagrees with this word.
    Anyway, I usually have to wake up 20-30 mins prior to everyone else in my hostel, which accounts for all the blood checks and calculating and taking insulin. Then have to rush to the mess so that I don't get into a line since body demands food in like 5-10 minutes after injecting insulin.
    That done, I always carry something sweet in my bag. ALWAYS.
    After the classes, I rush to the mess again, get my food, check my blood sugar, inject insulin and eat.
    In the evening, I go gymming after checking my blood sugar. Again, always having water and something sweet in my pocket. Then check my blood sugar again after gym. Then do stuff, check blood sugar again before dinner, take insulin and eat.
    Diabetes is pretty much always at the back of my mind, which is sick. ._.

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