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How Type 1 Diabetes Feels

It Happened To Me: I Have Type 1 Diabetes

It Happened To Me: I Have Type 1 Diabetes

Chandler Ping and me (Could we be any more awesome?) I have Type 1 Diabetes. This confuses some people because they don’t know there’s more than one “type” of diabetes. Truth is, the two diseases are very different. T2 can find its roots in lifestyle choices, while T1 isn’t as straightforward. It’s an... autoimmune disease? That has no known cause? T1 just happens. It happened to me 24 days before I turned five, on October 6, 1989, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. I won’t try to wrap up my life with diabetes into a neat package, because this disease is anything but neat. What I’ve compiled, though, is a list of the things I hear constantly, some of them ignorant questions, some genuine, and the answers to those questions. I don’t mind questions about the ‘betes. I welcome them. If people are just rude, that’s another story entirely. 1.If you stop eating so much sugar, it’ll go away, right? No. No, it won’t. Even though the spam messages in my inbox constantly try to convince me otherwise, there is no cure for T1. Eating less sugar won’t cure it, putting cinnamon all over everything I eat won’t cure it, exercising for two hours a day seven days a week won’t cure it. . .nothing will “cure” this disease. Also, no, it’s not because I ate too much sugar as a kid. Nothing could have prevented my body from attacking its own cells, period. 2.If you take too much insulin, will your blood sugar go up? No, it’s actually the opposite. Too much insulin makes blood sugars go down, not up. Insulin is used to process food eaten, so if you take too much, it’ll run out of things to process and just make you feel like crap. 3. Have you been drinking? No, my blood sugar’s low. My husband asked me recently, “What does having low blood Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes Finally Explained

Type 1 Diabetes Finally Explained

Let me say this with no exaggeration. My whole life, all day, all night, every day and each night is about keeping my blood sugar between the red and yellow lines. Whether I’m wearing, or not wearing, my continuous glucose monitor (CGM), screen pictured below. (The little white dots between the red and yellow lines are my blood sugar levels every five minutes. The 99 mg/dl (5.4 mmol/l) was my blood sugar level the moment I took this photo. The larger white dots are glare from the camera.) I just explained this “staying between the lines” to my mother, now being able to visibly show her on my monitor what I’ve long tried to tell her: Type 1 diabetes is a tightrope walk — all day and all night taking action to anticipate, prevent and recover from my blood sugar going too high and too low. My life is, and will forever be, staying between the lines. I got diabetes in February 1972 when I was 18 years old. I’m now 60. I’ve had diabetes more than four decades, more than two-thirds of my life. I have no memory of what life was like before “staying between the lines.” Type 1 diabetes is the other diabetes. The one you don’t hear about on TV commercials — that’s Type 2 diabetes. People with Type 2 diabetes produce insulin but not enough or their body doesn’t use it effectively. While people with Type 2 diabetes also must keep their blood sugar between the lines, it doesn’t require as intense effort. Even for those who take insulin, certain hormones they have that Type 1s lack, help to regulate their after meal blood sugars from rising too high and offset severe low blood sugar. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition. Your body destroys your pancreas’ insulin-producing (beta) cells. You no longer produce insulin, or at most a trace amount. It’s Continue reading >>

What A High Blood Sugar Feels Like? Signs & Symptoms Of Hyperglycemia

What A High Blood Sugar Feels Like? Signs & Symptoms Of Hyperglycemia

I get my first cup of coffee and sit on the sun deck with the birds singing. I feel as if I have not slept a wink, and my head aches. I could go back to bed and sleep all day, but work awaits. It’s a beautiful, sunny day, but my body feels heavy, and stuck to the chair. It hurts to lift my arms. My blood sugar was 381 this morning. Again. I think about having to face the day at the office. Driving down the interstate, the lines are blurry. I know that if the DMV got wind of it, I might not be driving as high as my A1C had been. When I get to the office, I walk in with a dark fog feeling surrounding me, and take some deep breaths at my desk. As I begin to review the end of the month reports, the numbers get fuzzy, and I can’t concentrate on them. My 36 ounce water bottle with only a few sips left beads sweat on the desk, and it’s across the building to get to the bathroom. Sometimes it’s a race to get there in time. My body is taught and swollen, like the Blueberry Girl from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. My blood sugar is a blue river of sticky blueberry filling as I roll down the hall toward the bathroom. I feel that if I had a needle, I could pop myself. That would surely be a mess. My skin is so dry and flaky that no amount of lotion will hydrate it. No amount of water can quench my thirst, and my mouth feels like the Sahara Desert. With one hand on the water cooler, and the other hand on the bathroom door, I guzzled down what I could until the feeling hit that I wasn’t going to be able to wait any longer. I was out of regular insulin, and I had taken my long acting insulin. I was not so patiently waiting for it to kick in. This morning was not starting out so well. I’d have to tackle the reports in my current brain fog. I did have a doctor’s appoin Continue reading >>

A Day In The Life Of A Type-1 Diabetic

A Day In The Life Of A Type-1 Diabetic

blood glucose , blood glucose levels , blood sugar , Diabetes , Diabetes mellitus type 1 , type 1 diabetes Its already been established that Diabetes is a disease that we, who have it, cannot run away from. We have to deal with it and we have to maintain control non-stop. There is no taking a break from it. I am 24 and have been diabetic since I was 11. I have been alive with diabetes longer than without, and yet, in my head, the normal life is the one I had before. I am currently treating my diabetes with insulin pump therapy (the pump is a little machine that never leaves me it constantly injects tiny little doses, known as basal, as well as some extra insulin when needed, for meals for example, known as bolus). I use a blood glucose monitor called FreeStyle Libre, which tests my blood via a sensor on my upper arm. With this machine, I do not need to prick my fingers to draw blood (although I still often do, as the sensor readings are often less accurate than the finger-pricking ones, unfortunately), and I can check the trend of the last eight hours, which is very helpful to understand where I am going and prevent a high or a low. My diabetes and I have a love/hate relationship. I love it because it taught me how to be strong, independent and proud. But I hate it because as much as it gave me strength, it gave me weakness too. As much independence it gave, it brought me on my knees countless times, forcing me to seek support from my family. And no matter how proud I am of who I am today, it sometimes happens that I let my diabetes catch-up with me and I feel raw, deep shame. Shame for my own lack of control, or judgement, leading to a hypo or a hyper. Shame for my scars. Shame for my sensors adorning my body constantly. But despite this hate, I try to live my life wi Continue reading >>

Living With Type 1 Diabetes | Prevention

Living With Type 1 Diabetes | Prevention

You probably know someone with type 1 diabetes (there are 1.25 million American children and adults living with the autoimmune disease), but do you really know what they're going through each day? Here's a brief glimpse: They're constantly checking their glucose numbers, watching what they eat, and worrying about how stress and other factors will influence their blood sugar . To learn more about what it's like to manage the condition day in and day out, read on. (Take back control of your eatingand lose weight in the processwith our 21-Day Challenge !) You worry about every little thing you eat. Always. "You cannot be a diabetic without thinking about food and how it will affect you ," says Taylor, 25, from Salem, OR. "Each item of food that I put into my mouth has so much more to it than the taste. When you eat, you have questions running through your mind such as, 'How many carbs does this have?', 'Did I take enough insulin for this?', 'What if I am full but took too much insulin, do I still have to finish it?' Those are just some of the questions, and that is for every single item I eat." It used to be that people with type 1 diabetes had to check their blood glucose values at least three or four times a day. However, according to Gregory Dodell, MD, a board-certified endocrinologist at Central Park Endocrinology New York, keeping up can be lower maintenance, thanks to new technology called a continuous glucose monitor (CGM)which is a sensor that checks glucose values consistently throughout the day and is viewed via a separate device, including an iPhone app. You constantly have to explain to people the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes . "It is hard having a disease you feel you have to defend. Many people think I brought this on myself with a poor die Continue reading >>

What It’s Like To Live With Type 1 Diabetes

What It’s Like To Live With Type 1 Diabetes

What It’s Like To Live With Type 1 Diabetes By: Valeria Guerrero What’s it like? It’s pricking your finger endlessly throughout the day. It’s not being afraid of blood because you get used to seeing so much of it. It’s no longer feeling tremor to a needle because you’ve had no choice than to be poked by them every day. It’s being woken up countless times throughout the night to fix blood sugars that just won’t become stable. It’s waking up feeling hung over because your sugars were high all night no matter the amount of corrections you gave yourself. It’s not being able to eat whatever you want before carb counting and analyzing how it will affect your sugars later. It’s having to put on a fake smile every time you have to explain to someone that type 1 and type 2 diabetes are NOT the same thing. It’s not being able to go a single work out without stressing if you’re going to go too low, drop too fast or go high. It’s seeing all the scars all over our tummy, arms and legs from all the site changes and pokes and just cry. It’s people staring at you while you poke yourself and watching you like something is wrong with you. It’s people telling you “you can’ t have that” or “should you be eating that?” It’s people assuming you have type 2 when you say you have diabetes. It’s watching people look at you like you’re breaking the law by having a candy. It’s asking yourself what you did wrong because you got this disease even when they say it isn’t your fault. It’s remembering what it was like before being diagnosed and feeling nostalgic. It’s struggling with money and possibly going into debt because supplies are just so expensive. It’s wanting to cry whenever you hear a representative say “your insurance doesn’t co Continue reading >>

One Day In The Life Of Type 1 Diabetes

One Day In The Life Of Type 1 Diabetes

DAY 4161 Living with Diabetes As I sit up in bed, my head spins. It’s 7 a.m. I’m shaking, sweating and scared. It’s only then I realize that I missed dinner last night. I know that my blood sugar is dangerously low. I also know that apart from my 13-year-old sister, I’m home alone. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a muesli bar sticking out of my handbag. I try to get out of bed and reach for it, in an attempt to bring my blood-sugar up. That’s the last thing I can remember. My name is Shelby. I’m your average 21-year-old, aside from the fact that I have had Type 1 diabetes since I was 9. One morning in January of 2014, my blood sugar dropped so low that I had a seizure and knocked myself unconscious after hitting the back of my head on my bed frame. It was the first time that an ambulance had ever been called for me. Apart from this instance, I have had several serious hypoglycemic episodes — I’ve had a seizure whilst on camp visiting a crocodile farm, I’ve smashed drinking glasses in my hands in an attempt to fix my blood sugar and I’ve buttered my hands whilst trying to make myself a sandwich. If you haven’t already guessed it, I’m extremely stubborn and independent. I don’t like asking for help; however, it’s because of my diabetes that I have had to learn how to ask for such. Diabetes is debilitating. Diabetes is devastating. Diabetes is draining. We’re allowed to have good days and bad days; just like everyone else. We just need to be prepared. Even on our bad days, we are still diabetics. We still have to stop and test our blood sugars and give insulin. We have highs (fun fact: we don’t understand how odd it sounds to others when we’re in public and say, “I think I’m high”) and then we also have lows (literally). Our blood Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is the type of diabetes that typically develops in children and in young adults. In type 1 diabetes the body stops making insulin and the blood sugar (glucose) level goes very high. Treatment to control the blood glucose level is with insulin injections and a healthy diet. Other treatments aim to reduce the risk of complications. They include reducing blood pressure if it is high and advice to lead a healthy lifestyle. What is type 1 diabetes? What is type 1 diabetes? Play VideoPlayMute0:00/0:00Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE0:00Playback Rate1xChapters Chapters Descriptions descriptions off, selected Subtitles undefined settings, opens undefined settings dialog captions and subtitles off, selected Audio TrackFullscreen This is a modal window. Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window. TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal Dialog End of dialog window. Diabetes mellitus (just called diabetes from now on) occurs when the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood becomes higher than normal. There are two main types of diabetes. These are called type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes usually first develops in children or young adults. In the UK about 1 in 300 people develop type 1 diabetes at some stage. With type 1 diabet Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

happens when your immune system destroys cells in your pancreas called beta cells. They’re the ones that make insulin. Some people get a condition called secondary diabetes. It’s similar to type 1, except the immune system doesn’t destroy your beta cells. They’re wiped out by something else, like a disease or an injury to your pancreas. Insulin is a hormone that helps move sugar, or glucose, into your body's tissues. Cells use it as fuel. Damage to beta cells from type 1 diabetes throws the process off. Glucose doesn’t move into your cells because insulin isn’t there to do it. Instead it builds up in your blood and your cells starve. This causes high blood sugar, which can lead to: Dehydration. When there’s extra sugar in your blood, you pee more. That’s your body’s way of getting rid of it. A large amount of water goes out with that urine, causing your body to dry out. Weight loss. The glucose that goes out when you pee takes calories with it. That’s why many people with high blood sugar lose weight. Dehydration also plays a part. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). If your body can't get enough glucose for fuel, it breaks down fat cells instead. This creates chemicals called ketones. Your liver releases the sugar it stores to help out. But your body can’t use it without insulin, so it builds up in your blood, along with the acidic ketones. This combination of extra glucose, dehydration, and acid buildup is known as "ketoacidosis" and can be life-threatening if not treated right away. Damage to your body. Over time, high glucose levels in your blood can harm the nerves and small blood vessels in your eyes, kidneys, and heart. They can also make you more likely to get hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis, which can lead to heart attacks and strok Continue reading >>

What A Low Blood Sugar Feels Like

What A Low Blood Sugar Feels Like

In this article, we will explore what low blood sugar feels like for different people with diabetes. We will look at the symptoms, how they can change over time, and how they are often different from person to person. We will look at planning ahead, and the treatment of hypoglycemia, hereafter referred to as “low blood sugar.” To get started, patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes were interviewed and asked the question: What is it like and what do you do when life hands you the low blood sugar agenda for the day? Describe your experience. Melissa’s story Melissa is usually gung-ho and ready to go for the day, but when she is handed the low blood sugar agenda, it takes all the wind out of her “cells.” They feel wrinkled up and emaciate. Here is how Melissa describes her low blood sugars: I imagine you, (you wrinkly old emaciated cell with no food in you), as a grumpy old man. I scream at you, though I can’t move. No, I won’t take your stifling agenda! I have to work after all. My kids need me to take them to dance class after school. I’m reluctant to take your agenda, packed with the helplessness that is my poison pill of the day. If I believe those positive self-help type blogs, then I would know that to decide you are happy determines your destination for the day. If you have diabetes, that’s a crock. With diabetes, your low blood sugar determines your agenda, and ultimately what you will be able to do for the day. When it gets below 70, or dips severely low- it begs and screams to be addressed! Especially if it dips fast, then I’m in trouble. Every cell in my body screams out. If it’s too low, I can’t move to do anything about it! Often I get a little dizzy feeling, and then I know I have to treat. I will get the shakes so bad that I can’t Continue reading >>

Pricks And Needles: What Living With Type 1 Diabetes Is Like

Pricks And Needles: What Living With Type 1 Diabetes Is Like

Type 1 diabetes, a rarer form of the chronic disease, affects three million Americans. Here's one of them. Back in early 2001, I was a happy, but slightly overweight, 13-year-old boy. Just before the summer I decided to start eating less junk food in hopes of shedding a couple of pounds from my 135-pound frame. I got results quickly -- and my weight kept dropping. Looking back, the signs that something was amiss were obvious. I couldn't make it through 50-minute class periods in middle school without having to run off and pee. It felt like my thirst could never be satiated. I was always tired. But the weight loss was the most obvious sign. Weight kept coming off. 125 pounds, 120, 115. My parents called my pediatrician, but diabetes never came up as a potential cause. An unusual teenage growth spurt prior to puberty was a possibility. An eating disorder was also suggested. By the time I arrived for my annual physical on Nov. 6, 2001, none of my clothes fit and I weighed just 98 pounds -- nearly 30 percent less than my peak weight. More phone calls and doctors' appointments revealed nothing. Back at home after the appointment, I hopped in the shower but was almost immediately interrupted by my mom. The doctor's office called with results from my blood test and I had to get to the emergency room. When I checked into the hospital, my blood sugar was 971. The normal range is 80-150. The doctors said I would have fallen into a diabetic coma within another week. Back then, diabetes seemed like a death sentence. My whole life routine would have to change. I would have to check my blood glucose at least five times a day and stick myself with needles at least four times a day. But for the past ten years, I've been living with an illness that could shorten my life expectancy by 15 Continue reading >>

What A Low Blood Sugar Feels Like

What A Low Blood Sugar Feels Like

Have you seen the video going viral on Facebook right now where four amazing women with type 1 diabetes talk about what low blood sugar feels like? I love this video, and it inspired me to think about what a low blood sugar feels like for me and to put it into words in this post. I think this is particularly useful for friends and family who may not know or understand what it’s like. Please watch the video and consider sharing this post with your loved ones if you feel that it helps explain how you feel when you have a low. No compatible source was found for this media. What low blood sugar feels like Trying to explain a feeling is always hard, and trying to explain something as unique as the feeling of low blood sugar (or hypoglycemia) is even harder. The physical aspects of a low are easier to describe, so let’s start with those. I almost always feel the signs of a low blood sugar before it becomes critical. I’ll feel it when my blood sugar is around 60 mg/dl (3 mmol/l). I’ll start shaking a little, my cognitive function goes out the window, I get weak, and I typically start sweating (these are the most common low blood sugar symptoms). A cup of juice or 2-3 glucose tabs will usually get me right back to normal pretty quickly and I’ll move on with my day. But when I don’t catch my symptoms before they get severe, and my sugars dip lower, then that’s a whole other story. This rarely happens during the day, since I can catch them before they get this bad, but it will sometimes happen in my sleep. I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and know it’s bad if I’ve had a stress dream (things will move excessively fast in my dream or I’ll be caught in a loop of some sort), I’m sweating profusely, and shaking. And then there’s the feeling! It an urge Continue reading >>

Living And Thriving With Type 1 Diabetes

Living And Thriving With Type 1 Diabetes

You might have type 1 diabetes, but diabetes doesn’t have to control your life. Living well and thriving with type 1 diabetes is possible. Whether you’re struggling with your busy Monday mornings or you’re dreaming of a weekend getaway, type 1 diabetes shouldn’t hold you back. Follow these simple, practical steps for living life with diabetes to the fullest. Managing type 1 diabetes can sometimes feel like a burden. So it’s important to stay motivated to take good care of yourself. When you start to feel overwhelmed, it can help to think of a good reason to stay motivated. Some examples might be “I want to stay healthy for my kids” or “I want to manage my diabetes well so that I’ll be healthy when I’m older.” On these harder days, remind yourself of your reason for staying motivated. Keep your reason on a sticky note and keep it in your purse, wallet, or smartphone for a quick pick-me-up. If you’d like to manage your diabetes better and have an easier Monday morning, get organized. You can try making diabetes kits with insulin, syringes, snacks, glucose testing supplies, and anything else you might need to manage your diabetes. Stash a few kits around the house, in your car, and in your purse, gym bag, or briefcase. You’ll save time when you don’t have to search for the supplies you need. If you often have trouble remembering to take medications, try using a pill box or keeping prescriptions by your toothbrush. You should also have the name and contact information for each member of your diabetes treatment team easily available, such as on the fridge or in your wallet. Following a nutritious diet is one of the most important things you can do to manage type 1 diabetes. Sticking to your healthy eating plan isn’t always easy, but preparation Continue reading >>

What Does It Feel Like To Grow Up With Type 1 Diabetes? What Are The Biggest Challenges, And What Sorts Of Things Make It Easier To Live With?

What Does It Feel Like To Grow Up With Type 1 Diabetes? What Are The Biggest Challenges, And What Sorts Of Things Make It Easier To Live With?

I have had Type 1 diabetes since I was 15 years old. Interestingly my high school years were the easiest years for me in terms of diabetes management/coping with the disease, being an undergraduate and to a lesser extent a graduate student were both much more challenging, for reasons which I will mention later in my answer. Challenge 1: Learning the basic rules for managing diabetes, especially carb counting (figuring out what is in the food you are eating) and how to deal with factors like exercise, sickness, and stress. To manage diabetes successfully you have to imitate your own pancreas, and do so with tools that are inferior to a pancreas. It is easy to learn the very basics, but to achieve a high quality of life and have good control so that you have good health later you need to know how to deal with all the subtleties. The body is incredibly complicated and the blood sugar/insulin/pancreas system is no exception. Challenge 2: Being disciplined and careful after some of the things from challenge 1 have become second nature. Once you learn the basics it is easy to stop learning and just coast. It is also easy to get lazy once you have internalized things. It can be very tough to convince children to pay more attention to these things, especially since the consequences of failure don't seem that important to you. Challenge 3: Being disciplined when you are extremely busy and have lots of stress. This was by far the hardest thing for me, but only became a problem when I was a college student. This is a disease where a single mistake can be fatal and it is much easier to make mistakes when you have a lot of things going on, and I think that this is by far the toughest challenge that diabetes has presented to me (and that I think diabetes can present in terms of manag Continue reading >>

What Does It Feel Like To Have High Blood Sugar Levels?

What Does It Feel Like To Have High Blood Sugar Levels?

The human body naturally has sugar, or glucose, in the blood. The right amount of blood sugar gives the body's cells and organs energy. The liver and muscles produce some blood sugar, but most of it comes from food and drinks that contain carbohydrates. In order to keep blood sugar levels within a normal range, the body needs insulin. Insulin is a hormone that takes blood sugar and delivers it to the body's cells. Contents of this article: What does it feel like to have high blood sugar levels? Blood sugar is fuel for the body's organs and functions. But having high blood sugar doesn't provide a boost in energy. In fact, it's often the opposite. Because the body's cells can't access the blood sugar for energy, a person may feel tiredness, hunger, or exhaustion frequently. In addition, high sugar in the blood goes into the kidneys and urine, which attracts more water, causing frequent urination. This can also lead to increased thirst, despite drinking enough liquids. High blood sugar can cause sudden or unexplained weight loss. This occurs because the body's cells aren't getting the glucose they need, so the body burns muscle and fat for energy instead. High blood sugar can also cause numbness, burning, or tingling in the hands, legs, and feet. This is caused by diabetic neuropathy, a complication of diabetes that often occurs after many years of high blood sugar levels. What does high blood sugar mean for the rest of the body? Over time, the body's organs and systems can be harmed by high blood sugar. Blood vessels become damaged, and this can lead to complications, including: Damage to the eye and loss of vision Kidney disease or failure Nerve problems in the skin, especially the feet, leading to sores, infections, and wound healing problems Causes of high blood sugar Continue reading >>

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