What is type 1 Diabetes?
- The pancreas no longer produces insulin. The body needs to break down sugars and starches into simple sugars. Insulin is a hormone that gets glucose form the bloodstream into the cells of the body. Without insulin the body cannot regulate the body's glucose in the bloodstream.
Dietary Guidelines for Diabetics
- Diabetics have to watch their carbs, sugars, and fats.
- Complex carbs and sugars are okay in moderation, because the body can slowly digest and break them down.
- The ideal carbohydrate intake is 180g per day.
- The ratio of carbs to protein to lipids is 2:1:1 per meal.
- They should only have 60g of carbs per meal.
How do I monitor my blood sugar levels daily?
- Up to 6 insulin injections every day or use of an insulin pump (lifelong).
- A glucose meter tests your blood levels.
- Levels between 70-130 mg/dL before meals, and less the 180 mg/dL two hours after the meal.
- With type 1 diabetes it is recommended that you check your blood levels 4-8 times a day.
Lifestyle & Exercise
- It is very important to balance exercise with insulin and glucose intake levels.
- For instance, if you exercise enough to burn off a whole bunch of sugars, that means your blood glucose levels drop, so you don't need as much insulin.
- A healthy dose of exercise would be to take part in an activity at least 4 times a week.
Success Story #1
"When people ask Meri Schuhmacher what she does for a living, she sometimes says she's a pancreas. Meri spends much of her days -- and often her nights -- helping three of her four children manage their type 1 diabetes. Max, the oldest at age 17, does not have diabetes, but Jack, 15; Ben, 11; and Luke, 9, do. To make life even more of a challenge, Meri's beloved husband, Ryan, died last year after a six-month battle with melanoma. Meri's blog, Our Diabetic Life, which had given her a sense of community for dealing with her sons' diabetes, gave her the same support when her husband died."
Success Story #2
"Ever since I got married, my endocrinologist would always joke with me: 'Oh, it's time to get pregnant!' " says Elizabeth Edelman, a blogger with Diabetes Daily who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 23 years old. "When we were ready to start trying, I talked to my endocrinologist and he gave us the green light." At the outset, Edelman had a plan: She would maintain an A1C of 6 percent or lower for her entire pregnancy, and she would have a completely natural birth.
Not surprisingly, that took a huge amount of effort. Edelman tracked her glucose levels with a continuous glucose monitor, faxed a log of her blood glucose readings to her endocrinologist each week for suggested adjustments to her treatment, and kept pregnancy cravings in check. "You always hear, 'Oh, when you're pregnant, you're eating for two,' " she says. "But you only need an extra 300 to 500 calories per day. That's not a lot." To make sure her blood glucose was in control during delivery, Edelman had her husband test her throughout labor.
The attention to detail paid off: Her A1C hovered around 5 percent throughout the nine months, she was able to give birth without drugs, and on Oct. 31, 2008, Edelman had a 6-pound, 1-ounce baby girl named Leah. "I have the funniest and most adorable baby, and that alone is a success," she says. "But I worked my butt off to make sure everything went well."