Type 1 Diabetes Definition
Type 1 diabetes (also known as juvenile diabetes) is less common as compared to type 2, but affects millions of people across the globe. It’s most common to found among children but can develop at any stage of life. (Read the story of a girl diagnosed at her 30’s)
What is Type 1 diabetes?
It’s an autoimmune disorder where your immune system mistakenly identifies insulin producing pancreatic BETA cells as a threat and destroys it. The pancreas ultimately loses the ability to produce insulin which increases the amount of sugar level in the blood and condition for diabetes arises.
Type 2 diabetes is more of lifestyle disorder in which the body cells develop insulin resistance. The cells don’t respond to insulin production and don’t take glucose in for metabolism that ultimately results in high blood sugar. Type 2 diabetes can be reversed if managed well and followed low carb diet
If you want to know different types of diabetes click here
Why does it happen?
The exact cause has not been perfectly identified but genetics played a dominant role for the development of this disease; Genetic factor coupled with environmental trigger causes the immune system to attack its BETA cells.
So what are the triggers identified?
Generally, triggers include viruses (eg, enteroviruses), environmental toxins or foods (eg, early exposure to cow’s milk proteins, cereals, or gluten)
Symptoms of Type 1
The classic symptoms of Type 1 diabetes are as follows:
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
- Hair fall
- Weight loss
- Genital Itchiness
- Unclear Vision
The Type 1 diabetes develops slowly among the adults and could be misdiagnosed as Type 2. Type 1 that develops among the adults has been given new term called LADA (Latent autoimmuno diabetes of adults).
Test to confirm diabetes
Once you feel above symptoms, you need to rush to your endocrinologist for consultation. The doctor will more or less ask you to perform the following test
- Blood Sugar Readings (Fasting and PP)
- Ketone Test
- C Peptide Test
- GAD antibodies test
I have got Type 1, now what?
Well, there is no cure for this till date. However various research has been going on all over the world to find its solution (Read about Type 1 Vaccine research by clicking here)
But you can live your full life happily and without any complication, if you do things right. There are many people around who have diabetes since childhood and lived their full life (Watch Dr. Richard Bernstein videos by clicking here; he is himself Type 1)
You can buy Richard Bernstein Diabetes Management Bestseller Book from Amazon by clicking here
Type 1 diabetics have to administer themselves external insulin through their lives. In the beginning, it may seem too much to handle but you would get used to it with time; Also, you have to restrict your diet, lifestyle and have to monitor your blood sugar as much as possible. Now there are various tech tools available that are making this task easier to do (Read about diabetic tools here)
Initially, it’s very important to check your blood glucose frequently before and after meal to understand your body response to sugar levels; this may loose your pocket first but in long run, you will understand what food cause sugar spike that can be avoided further
You can buy best of glucometers from amazon by clicking here
OK, what if I failed to manage it Properly?
High sugar for a sustainable period of time can cause complications. These complications can be classified as short term and long term
Short Term complications:
- Hypoglycemia (Low blood sugar): Injecting too much insulin as compared to carb intake would result in this condition. You can die if you failed to eat up enough carbs and bring your blood glucose to minimum level
- Ketoacidosis: This occurs if you failed to administer enough insulin in your body and your blood glucose is high for a long time
Long Term Complications:
- Kidney Disease
- Heart Disease
- Erectile dysfunction
One can get scared by thinking about the prospect of these complications, but this can all be avoided if you manage your disease properly. Diabetes management can be tough especially if you have to do it for sustained period of time and most of the people I have seen usually go off track within a year and so.
But let me tell you if you managed your diabetes well you will not only avoid the complications but can live active and healthy life than most normal people do
I want to avoid all these complications and manage my diabetes well; what should I do to manage it successfully?
- The first thing you should do is to avoid food high in carbs. With diabetes, some believe that one can eat whatever they want and can compensate it by high insulin dosage; but these food cause spike in blood sugar which is nerve damaging even if it occurs for a small duration. Eating High carb will also make it difficult for you to judge proper insulin level each time resulting in frequent highs and lows.
- Try following LCHF diet, you will find the difference in your reading from starting day onwards and your insulin requirement will also decrease; You can find good LCHF recipes in the blog called Diet Doctor by clicking here
- Start testing your blood sugar frequently at-least for 2 to 3 months from your diagnosis (You can buy continuous glucose monitor or can prick yourself frequently for that). With a frequent monitor you can judge the impact of different food on your body blood sugar, so with time, you can adjust your insulin dose as per the food you eat.
- Stop smoking: smoking increases the chance of getting into a diabetic complication. It damages your arteries (that carry blood and oxygen to heart) and makes it narrower, thus increasing the chance of heart attack or stroke
After getting diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, you may miss the normal life and regret the everyday hassles which become part of daily life now but believe me just be on track and every thing will be normal and you will get used to it. Tell me about your experience with Type 1; share your diagnosis story, about how you are dealing it with it now and suggest any tips for managing it (you can read my story by clicking here)