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Understanding Type 1 Diabetes
I wanted to write this article to explain Type 1 Diabetes a little. It’s also written T1D. For those of you who may not know, my youngest daughter and my niece are both type 1 diabetics. There is a whole lot of misconception out there about this disease. So I wanted to clear it up for you a little.
What is Diabetes?
First off, there are different types of diabetes. Different types have different meanings. But the main definition for diabetes is a disease that results in too much sugar in the blood. Having too much sugar in your blood is also called high blood glucose. Here is a list of the most common types of diabetes.
- Type 1
- Gestational Diabetes
Let me start by saying that type 1 and type two are very much different. I have heard a lot of comments that have really upset me. Some of them I’ve seen on TV. A few have been from those I consider friends. And even some from strangers. Sometimes you just overhear a random remark. And of course, not everyone knows that she even has this disease. I mean it’s not like she has it written on her forehead. I get it though. Most people just don’t understand. I’m sure at some time or another I have even done the same thing to someone else. Not even knowing their situation, or just not knowing what I’m talking about. That’s a big reason I am writing this article. I want to help you understand more about it. After all, we don’t know if we’re not taught. And on that remark let me say I don’t know a whole lot about the other types. I know enough to understand the difference. But, I won’t be going into them very much. So for those of you that want to learn what I know, let’s move on.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way the body processes glucose. In other words your body does not use insulin properly. Type 2 is the most common. And more than likely the only one you know about. It’s the one most people think of when they hear the term diabetic.
Type 2 is usually caused by someone being overweight and not eating right. Some people are capable of keeping it under control with just their diet and exercise. If not, it can normally be treated with medication. Some are able to control it by taking a pill. But there are also those who need to take insulin. The only way to get insulin is through a shot. A diabetic will also need to keep an eye on their sugar. This is done by checking their blood with a finger stick and a meter. Even though it seems easy enough, it takes a lot to keep this disease under control.
Now on the other hand we have type 1, also known as juvenile diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. And while there are treatments for type 1, there is no cure. There is also no known cause of this disease. You cannot prevent it. Even if found early, it’s not reversible. A lot of people haven’t heard of type 1 or at least don’t know what it is. Although, this disease is becoming more known every day. It used to be known as juvenile diabetes because it was most common in children. But today there are more and more adults being diagnosed with it. My niece being one of them.
The big thing with type 1 is that there is no cure. It will never go away. Your only option is an insulin treatment and to try and control it. But even control can be very hard because things can vary for no apparent reason. Your pancreas will eventually quit making insulin at all, and without insulin, you will die. So you’re left having to take insulin through a shot. This means several shots, at least 4 shots a day. In other words, take a crazy amount of shots every day in order to stay alive. And that does not include all of the finger sticks. You need to check your blood a minimum of 4 times a day. So you’re constantly poking your poor little fingers, just to keep a check on your blood. It’s an awful disease to have to deal with.
You have to count your carbs and take insulin for them. You are still able to eat anything you want. Of course, it’s best to have a healthy diet. But, you are not unable to have anything really. A lot of the misconception comes from this one thing. Most people assume that you can’t have any sugar just because they hear the word diabetic. When in fact, there are plenty of times when it’s imperative that they get sugar immediately.
Even though it’s incurable, it’s best to find out early and start getting treatment. Here are some warning signs for you to look out for. If you or your child have these you need to seek medical attention.
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination or bedwetting
- Blurred vision
- Nausea or stomache pain
- Weight loss
This does not really even begin to describe what a type 1 diabetic has to go through on the daily. Not to mention the things you have to learn in order to treat it. I just wanted to give the main outlook on the differences in them right now. I will be talking more on this topic in the future. So stay tuned if you’re interested in learning more about it.
Prediabetes is a condition in which blood sugar is high, but not enough to be considered type 2 yet. There are millions of adults with prediabetes. It is treatable. And with action it can be reversed. The problem is that most people don’t have any symptoms with this. The only way to know you have it is to have your blood sugar levels checked.
Gestational diabetes is a form of high blood sugar affecting pregnant women. There usually are no symptoms with this either. A blood sugar test during pregnancy is used for diagnosis. If you were ever pregnant, you know the test. That sugary drink followed by blood work. If you have gestational diabetes it can affect your pregnancy and your baby’s health. This can be treated and most likely go away after birth.