Managing Type 1 Diabetes Is 'essentially My Day Job'

Managing type 1 diabetes is 'essentially my day job'

Managing type 1 diabetes is 'essentially my day job'

Amber McGrath is 18 and for most of her life she's lived with type 1 diabetes.
She's one of about 35,000 under-19s in the UK with the condition, according to the charity Diabetes UK.
Type 1 diabetes, which is different to type 2 diabetes, is an autoimmune condition which means a person's pancreas has stopped working.
There is no cure and Amber will spend the rest of her life monitoring her blood glucose level constantly as well as giving herself insulin injections.
BBC Advice has more help and information about diabetes.
"Essentially my day job is being an organ in my body, which is the pancreas I'm missing," Amber, who is from Portsmouth, tells Newsbeat.
"People don't realise how much hard work goes into it."
"On average, a blood glucose test, which I should be performing at least four times a day probably takes about two minutes," says Amber.
"An [insulin] injection probably takes about five minutes.
"It doesn't sound like a lot but there are all of the mental calculations you have to do when it comes to eating food, drinking alcohol, exercising especially, which I don't think I could put a time on."
You can read more about Lydia Parkhurst, who has type 1 diabetes and explains why it's not down to her diet or weight.
Amber's goal is to keep her blood sugar reading between four and seven.
You can see from her diary that Amber woke up at 10.20pm, not long after going to bed and just before 5am, with readings lower than four.
This means she was hypoglycemic and the amount of glucose in her blood was too low.
"I will physically shake, I will feel very tired. I usually get emo Continue reading

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Diabetes Is Already Psychologically Demanding, So Cut the Stigma Too

Diabetes Is Already Psychologically Demanding, So Cut the Stigma Too

When Rachel Kerstetter woke up the morning of Aug. 11, 2011, she knew something was wrong. She had risen multiple times during the night. She was extremely thirsty and her vision was blurry. She needed to go to the bathroom more often than usual.
She could trace some of the symptoms back a couple of weeks, but she thought it was just stress. She and her husband, Brad, had just married that May, and were adjusting to life as newlyweds; they were both searching for jobs right out of college; and Kerstetter was dealing with family drama, all while her father was hospitalized with cancer.
But after she experienced nausea and vomiting that particular night, Brad made her go to the doctor — and it ended up saving her life.
Kerstetter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease that causes a person's pancreas to produce little or no insulin — a hormone that converts sugar into the energy we need to survive. Doctors found high glucose and ketones in her urine, and after a three-night stay in the hospital, she was released with basic instructions for insulin shots, along with some dietary guidelines. For the past few years, she has used an insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitor to keep her blood sugar in check.
But even after her third "diaversary" earlier this month, Kerstetter, now 25, continues to deal with a less talked-about side effect of diabetes: stigma.
As with other diseases, such as mental illness, a general lack of information causes many to misunderstand and judge those with diabetes. People often combine the disease's different types under one Continue reading

What To Drink With Diabetes?

What To Drink With Diabetes?

Is there anything good for diabetes you can buy in a bottle and drink? If not, what can you drink that’s healthy?
Beverages to avoid
First off, do not drink bottled fruit juice. Health author Joy Bauer rated fruit juice the number one worst food for diabetes. Most bottled juice is not 100% juice and has additional sugar added. But according to Bauer, “Fruit juices, even 100% fruit juices, are chock-full of fruit sugar and cause a sharp spike in blood sugar.”
Juice has a very high glycemic index, which means the sugar gets into your blood very fast. According to diabetes.co.uk, unsweetened orange juice has a glycemic index between 66 and 76, higher than most chocolate cake. People with diabetes do not have enough insulin to keep up with such a fast surge of sugar.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) agrees. “Avoid sugary drinks like regular soda, fruit punch, fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks, or sweet tea. They can provide several hundred calories in just one serving.
ADA advises tea, coffee, water, or milk instead. They do say that less than 4 ounces of juice at a meal might be manageable for some people with diabetes.
There are other problems with juice besides the sugar. Compared to whole fruits and vegetables, juice has almost no fiber. Bottled juice is usually stored in massive oxygen-depleted holding tanks for up to a year before it is packaged. Then lost flavor iss restored with “flavor packs.”
Recent studies, however, have shown that juice does have some benefits. It helps prevent cancer and heart disease as well as whole fruits. It has more Continue reading

Diet Soda & Diabetes: Is Diet Soda Safe for Diabetes?

Diet Soda & Diabetes: Is Diet Soda Safe for Diabetes?

Diabetes is a serious medical condition caused due to increased level of blood sugar in the body. As a result, body is unable to either use or produce “insulin”, a hormone which moves sugar from the blood to the cells where it makes energy.
Do Diet Sodas Cause Diabetes?
It is recommended to stay away from drinks which contain a lot of sugar as they can affect your heart health. Usually, soda is very high in sugar. People, especially diabetics, should aware about such beverages.
Before going further, let’s discuss the three common types of diabetes first –
Type 1 Diabetes
With Type 1 diabetes, body is unable to produce proper amount of insulin. Immune system attacks the pancreas cells which are responsible to produce insulin. There is nothing which can directly cause Type 1 Diabetes. But here are the factors responsible for type 1 diabetes –
• Lack of vitamin D
• Any family member with type 1 diabetes
• Exposure to viral diseases in childhood
Drinking cow’s milk in childhood may also higher the risk of type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes
It is the most widespread type of diabetes. In this condition, body cannot use insulin properly or make the most of it to work with sugar consumption.
Type 2 diabetes is linked to –
• Inactivity
• Obesity
• Genetic issues
• Age
• Family history
• High blood pressure
Gestational Diabetes
This condition generally affects pregnant women. If body is unable to produce enough insulin to move the sugar to the cells to be used or if your body resists insulin, you may be diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
According to a Continue reading

Beta Cell Dysfunction

Beta Cell Dysfunction

Beta cells reside in the pancreas, where they do the important job of producing insulin for the body. Beta cells produce insulin, and also secrete insulin when they are signaled to do so by an increase in glucose levels in the blood. Without adequate insulin, blood glucose levels rise too high, a defining characteristic of any type of diabetes.
In type 2 diabetes, beta cells churn out a lot of insulin early in the disease process; type 2 is characterized by both high glucose levels, and high insulin levels in the blood. The main problem is that the body's tissues are resistant to insulin, and can't use it properly. As type 2 diabetes progresses over time, however, the beta cells seem to wear out, and eventually produce less insulin. Some people with type 2 diabetes end up having to take insulin because their beta cells are not producing enough of it.
In type 1 diabetes, the beta cells do not produce enough insulin. This is generally due to the death of the beta cells. By the time someone is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, they may have lost 70-80% of their beta cells (it is thought, although more recent studies are testing this number). Beta cell loss occurs gradually over time, beginning before diagnosis, and continuing afterwards, until most beta cells are lost (Cnop et al. 2005). However, new research is also finding that some people with type 1 continue to produce insulin for many years (Davis et al. 2014; Oram et al. 2014), as well as proinsulin (a precursor to insulin) (Steenkamp et al. 2017), and that beta cell dysfunction (not just death) may also be a significant c Continue reading

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