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I Chose Type 1 Diabetes And It Changed My Life For The Better

I Chose Type 1 Diabetes and It Changed My Life for the Better

I Chose Type 1 Diabetes and It Changed My Life for the Better

One of our Glu Ambassadors, Sandy Brooks, has been attended our in-person educational programs and been a big advocate for T1D Exchange for the past few years. Today she is sharing her very unique story of how and why she acquired type 1 diabetes.
I’m a “surgical type 1” person with diabetes (PWD). I acquired my diabetes through having my pancreas removed due to hereditary chronic pancreatitis lasting for 27 years. I had my pancreas removed and an autologous islet cell transplant on my 52nd birthday. I didn’t plan to have the surgery on my birthday, but it has worked out perfectly because it really was a rebirth in so many ways.
As a kid, I always had belly issues. My pediatrician called it a “nervous stomach.” This “nervous stomach” followed me through to high school and beyond. Things got worse as I got older. In my twenties, I decided to have this issue more thoroughly worked up. It took years to get a diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis (CP) because with this rare, chronic disease, there are no blood tests to definitively determine it. Also, there is a stereotype that only old alcoholics get pancreatitis, and I had never been one to drink. Plus, where I was so young, no one even considered this to be the issue.
Finally, at 27 years old, I got my diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis and the stigma associated with it ensued. I was frequently accused of drug seeking due to my primary symptom being excruciating abdominal pain. When I gave in and sought help in the local ER, besides a little anemia, my blood work came back fine. The usual suspects of a raised amyl Continue reading

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I Could Have Died From My Undiagnosed Type 1 Diabetes

I Could Have Died From My Undiagnosed Type 1 Diabetes

Literally. By the time someone finally listened to me and tested me for diabetes (my OBGYN of all people), my blood sugars were in the 700s, my heart was pounding, I was breathless, weak, scrawny and falling asleep sitting up. Knowing what I know now about Type 1 diabetes, why didn’t any of my doctors figure out that I had it? Or at least consider it after I kept telling them my symptoms? Some friends had encouraged me to go to a book store (this was pre-Internet) and look up my symptoms, and it was at that point that I began asking over and over to be tested. Finally, after a bit of harassing from me, I was tested.
It all started the first time I asked my MD to test me for diabetes and after finding an elevated fasting blood glucose, he said, “Oh you probably just drank some orange juice.” But I hadn’t, I responded. Another doctor told me that I “looked good thin,” just probably dieting too much. But I wasn’t on a diet, I protested. In fact, I was eating everything in sight. “Just drink more water,” they said, “you’re probably dehydrated.” But I was drinking what seemed like gallons of water that simply wouldn’t quench my ravishing thirst. “Get more sleep! Stop partying!” they proclaimed. But I was sleeping all the time, in between going to the bathroom, I might add. Nobody listened to me and at the time, I was too timid to protest. (My how things have changed.) The doctors I saw were condescending and dismissive. Here I was with every single classic symptom of Type 1 diabetes, except for one; I wasn’t a child, I was a 32-year-old adult. Huh Continue reading

If I Have Diabetes, Will I Have to Stop Eating Sugar?

If I Have Diabetes, Will I Have to Stop Eating Sugar?

What is that saying? Everything is good but only in moderation? Well this rings true when it comes to eating sugar with diabetes too.
You probably already know that eating a lot of sugar is not great for your body. The problem is that sugar comes in a natural form and in an added form, so sometimes you have no idea that you are consuming it.
Also, it is in many foods that you don’t even think to consider. Foods that you think are healthy, such as tomato sauce and protein bars, are packed full of sugar.
This article breaks down the facts about eating sugar with diabetes and how you can make the best choices for your body in order to effectively manage your diabetes.
How does sugar impact the blood sugar levels?
Normally, when you eat something that contains sugar, your pancreas releases insulin. This insulin partners up with the sugar molecules and together they enter into the cells and provide energy to your body. When you have diabetes, your body either isn’t making enough insulin anymore, or your body is resistant to the insulin that you are creating.
This prevents the sugar from being used by your cells and it just hangs out in your bloodstream causing high blood sugar levels. Having sugar in your bloodstream can lead to many problems and is dangerous for your health.
Sugar, which is also known as carbohydrates or glucose, is found naturally in many different foods such as dairy, fruits, and starchy vegetables. It is also added to many foods like pastas, grains, baked goods, processed foods, and beverages. Since liquids are digested faster, they increase your blood s Continue reading

Best diabetes apps of 2017

Best diabetes apps of 2017

Rates of diabetes may be higher than ever, but there are many apps that can help people with diabetes manage their condition.
According to research posted to the Journal of the American Medical Association, as much as 12-14 percent of the adult population in the United States is affected by diabetes. However, the modern era has made managing the disorder easier than ever before.
Desktop and mobile apps are widely available for users to easily track and manage their conditions. This may help them to make positive changes and help manage their blood sugar levels safely.
Contents of this article:
What to look for in a diabetes app
One of the most important parts of personal diabetes management is being able to monitor the following factors:
There can be a lot of numbers and times to remember, and a lot of math goes into every meal of the day. This can be an annoying experience.
Luckily, there are several apps that take some of the heavy burden off the shoulders of someone with diabetes.
There are a number of different things that affect the average person with diabetes. As such, there are also a few different categories of diabetes apps. These include:
logbook apps
calorie counters
diet apps
carbohydrate counting apps
general diabetes management apps
This article reviews some of the best diabetes apps of the year.
Diabetes logbook apps
Logbook apps enable people with diabetes to keep a log of the vital statistics that relate to their condition. The most important being their blood sugar levels.
mySugr
The diabetes app, mySugr, is a personalized logbook app for both Apple and A Continue reading

Diabetes costing Americans more than any other disease

Diabetes costing Americans more than any other disease

About half of all health-care spending in the United States goes to treat a small group of diseases, according to new research. And diabetes is leading the pack, far outpacing other conditions in total dollars spent.
Researchers from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation tracked the costs associated with 155 diseases for 18 years. Of that 155, a mere 20 were found responsible for over half of all medical expenditures.
Diabetes is the most expensive condition in terms of total dollars spent nationwide, costing $101 billion in diagnosis and treatment in 2013. Ischemic heart disease, the second-largest source of expenses, cost a total of $88 billion that year. The survey shows that diabetes-related costs have grown 36-times faster than those for ischemic heart disease, which kills more people than any other condition.
There are a variety of factors that drove diabetes spending up over that period, said lead author Joseph Dieleman, in an interview with CNBC. First, older people are more susceptible to the disease, and America's population is aging. It is also more prevalent overall, due to dietary and lifestyle changes, and health professionals are treating the condition more aggressively than they were in the past.
Dieleman told CNBC that the study is an attempt to map out the specific conditions that are driving spending, and identify the areas where efficiency or quality of service can be improved.
"So often the total amount money we spend on health care gets thrown around, and our sense was there is not as much information on what that money is actually spent on," Continue reading

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