Type 1 Diabetes A Day In The Life of a diabetic

General Background of Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is often referred to as "juvenile" diabetes because it occurs most commonly in children and young adults. Only 5-10% of those living with diabetes have type one. Type 1 diabetics essentially have high blood glucose levels due to the fact that their pancreas does not produce insulin, so the glucose cannot enter the cell to provide energy.

Diet of a Diabetic

  • The use of meal planning, such as calorie counting, food journal, etc., can help a diabetic be more conscious about what the are eating and limit the things that are bad for them
  • Limiting in simple carbohydrates and sugar, complex carbohydrates and vegetables take longer to digest so it takes longer to get in the blood sream
  • The purpose of portion control can help to control how much of one thing you eat
  • A good guideline for diabetics is to limit total carbohydrate consumption to 45-60 grams per meal (no more than 180 grams per day).
  • A good guideline for a diabetic plate of food would be ¼ protein, ¼ starch, ½ non starchy vegetables.
  • Daily the ratio of percentage of grams in the diet for a diabetic should be: 55:20:25 (carbs:fats:protein).
  • Nutrient dense carbohydrates are recommended: ex. Wheat instead of white bread, whole fruit not juice, etc.

Blood Sugar Monitoring and Adjustment

Blood sugar testing is a necessity for anyone with type 1 diabetes. It lets the diabetic see how much glucose is in their blood to calculate how much insulin they need to inject. Diabetics usually check their blood sugar levels after they eat or drink anything in large quantities or is sugary. The typical blood sugar level for a diabetic before a meal should be around 72 mg/dL (or 4 mmol/L), but after a meal it will temporarily be raised to 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) but lower when they inject their insulin. The A1C test is based on the attachment of glucose to hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. The A1C test reflects the average of a person’s blood glucose levels over the past 3 months. The A1C test result is reported as a percentage. The higher the percentage, the higher a person’s blood glucose levels have been. A normal A1C level is below 5.7% for a non-diabetic, but for a diabetic it should be below 7%.

Lifestyle and Exercise

  • Daily physical activity helps manage blood glucose levels, cholesterol, blood pressure, and mood, but it is crucial to track your blood sugar before, during and after any physical activity
  • At least an hour per day - walking, yoga, etc.
  • Kids - usually get enough by playing/running around

Success Stories

Nick first got sick while on tour with the Jonas Brothers in November 2005. He was losing weight, acting moody, and feeling thirsty all the time. A blood test showed that he had diabetes and he spent several days in the hospital. Though he is healthy and feeling great now, back then he worried he might die.

"I had an emotional breakdown since I really had no idea what diabetes was all about. I wondered, 'why me?' Then I asked myself, 'why not me?' and realized that I might be able to help other kids with diabetes." -Nick Jonas

Later, the Jonas Brothers performed at a Diabetes Research Institute fundraiser in New York City. During the show, Nick asked audience members to raise their hands if they had diabetes. Then he raised his hand, too, revealing for the first time publicly that he had type 1 diabetes.

At the concert, Nick encouraged other kids with diabetes to be positive, adding that he earned the nickname "Mr. Positive" because of his attitude about his condition.


Created with images by TesaPhotography - "diabetes blood finger"

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