What is Type 1 Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes also known as Juvenile diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin, a hormone needed to allow sugar(glucose) to enter cells to produce energy.
Despite active research, type 1 diabetes has no cure. But it can be managed. With proper treatment, people with type 1 diabetes can expect to live longer, healthier lives than did people with type 1 diabetes in the past.
These are often subtle, but they can become severe. They include: Heavy thirst, Increased hunger (especially after eating), Dry mouth, Nausea and vomiting, Pain in your belly, Frequent urination, Unexplained weight loss (even though you’re eating and feel hungry), Fatigue (weak, tired feeling), and Blurred vision.
Some experts used to think there was a "diabetes diet." They thought people with diabetes had to avoid all foods with sugars or stop eating certain other foods. But when you have type 1, you can eat the same healthy diet as everyone else.
Eat less unhealthy fat - Cut back on the saturated fats you find in high-fat meats like bacon and regular ground beef, as well as full-fat dairy like whole milk and butter. Unhealthy fats raise your chance of heart disease. With diabetes, you face higher-than-average odds of getting heart disease. Make smart food choices to lower that risk.
Get enough fiber - It may help control your blood sugar. You can get fiber from whole grains, beans, and fruits and vegetables. Try to get 25-30 grams a day.
Counting Carbs - Carbohydrates are your body's main source of energy. You get them from many foods, like grains (pasta, bread, crackers, and cookies), fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and sugars.
Carbs raise your blood sugar levels faster than any food. How many and what type of carbohydrate foods you eat can affect how well you manage your diabetes.
Counting carbs helps you keep track of how many carbs you eat. You can work with your doctor or a dietitian to figure out how many grams of carbs you should eat for each meal and snack. You can use the food label, a food exchange app, or other reference to count up the grams of carbs in foods.
Diabetes 'Super Foods' - Beans, Dark green leafy vegetables, Citrus fruit, Sweet potatoes, Berries, Tomatoes, Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids (like salmon), Whole grains, Nuts, Fat-free yogurt and milk.
Checking BloodSugar Lelvels
Blood glucose (blood sugar) monitoring is the main tool you have to check your diabetes control. This check tells you your blood glucose level at any one time. Keeping a log of your results is vital. When you bring this record to your health care provider, you have a good picture of your body's response to your diabetes care plan. Drinking extra unsweetened fluids will help your blood glucose to settle. It is not a good idea to exercise when your blood glucose is higher than 17mmol/L. If you are feeling unwell, or if there is no reason why your blood glucose is high, or if a high blood glucose of more than 17mmol/L is not settling, you should test your urine for ketones. If you are testing your own blood glucose level regularly you will quickly see if your glucose is above the healthy range (4mmol/L - 8mmol/L). It’s good to aim to have your blood glucose levels in this healthy range for 70 - 80% of the time. However, everyone goes high sometimes. A high of up to 16 - 20mmol/L is usually manageable as long as it settles back down again within a day. people will feel symptoms of low blood glucose at different levels, but most people and doctors agree that your blood glucose is low once it drops below 4mmol/L.
How do you check it?
1.) After washing your hands, insert a test strip into your meter. 2.)Use your lancing device on the side of your fingertip to get a drop of blood. 3.)Touch and hold the edge of the test strip to the drop of blood, and wait for the result. 4.)Your blood glucose level will appear on the meter's display.
Note: All meters are slightly different, so always refer to your user's manual for specific instructions.
Lifestyle and Exercise Requirements
Exercise is an absolutely vital part of type 1 diabetes treatment. Staying fit and active throughout your life has many benefits, but the biggest one for people with diabetes is this: it helps you control diabetes and prevent long-term complications.
Exercise makes it easier to control your blood glucose (blood sugar) level. Exercise benefits people with type 1 because it increases your insulin sensitivity. In other words, after exercise, your body doesn't need as much insulin to process carbohydrates.
Some benefits are Lower blood pressure, Better control of weight, Leaner, stronger muscles, Stronger bones, and more energy.
Recommended exercises are walking, jogging/ running, tennis, basketball, swimming, and biking.
You should aim to get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise most days of the week. In fact, the American Diabetes Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise a week, which works out to 30 minutes five days a week. If you think that you can't find 30 minutes, you can break up the exercise into chunks—10 minutes here and there.
Story from a current diabetic patient :
Three years ago on November 22nd, I made my way to the doctors office with my 8-year-old and her 11-year-old sister. My 8-year-old little hazel-eyed girl had been up all night feeling terrible with what I thought was a bad bladder infection. We stopped for an early lunch and got a sub sandwich and a cream soda.
The circles around her eyes had been there for weeks, perhaps months, and she had not been herself for some time. I didn’t know what was wrong but my sister-in-law had said that we should ask for a diabetes test since Jada had been thirsty and going to the bathroom a lot. Sure, I will ask, I told her, and I did. But in reality I was clueless as to what that even meant.
After the first finger poke, came another and then a few minutes later a blood draw. By this time, I realized the nurses were silent and not making eye contact. I asked what her blood sugar was and the nurse said ‘427.’ I didn’t know if that was good or bad so I asked what normal was. She responded, ’80 to 120.’ My heart sank.
I stared at my girl as my emotions ran wild. Jada sat there calm and quiet as I contacted my husband to ask him to make his way over.
The conversation want something like this:
“Your daughter is diabetic.”
“What? Did we eat too much sugar? She did just have lunch.”
“No it’s not like that, she didn’t cause this.”
“What does it mean then? Will she have to a shot?”
“Shots. Plural. Always. Jada needs insulin as soon as possible. She would have went into a diabetic coma if we didn’t catch it now. A person can’t go long like this. We can’t answer your questions, you’ll need to see an endocrinologist immediately. ”
They told us very little.