Diabetes: Types, Myths, and Knowledge

For this post I will be discussing Diabetes Type 1 and Type 2.  I have chosen this topic because my Diabetes Type 1 Support Group is Starting next week on May 13th at 5:30 pm.  I will be focusing more on Type 1.

I am the mother of a teenage girl with Type 1 Diabetes and for the past seven years have been a roller coaster ride.  She went from a honeymoon stage to multiple hospitalizations because of her sugar being high and having ketones in her urine.

There are two types of Diabetes: Type 1 is usually diagnosed in children and young adults and Type 2 usually adults.  Type 1 is where the body does not PRODUCE insulin which is needed to convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy.  Type 2 is a problem with your body that causes blood glucose (sugar) levels to rise higher than normal, most common type and your body does not USE insulin properly.

Some of the symptoms of diabetes are:

  • urinating often
  • feeling thirsty
  • feeling hungry
  • extreme fatigue
  • blurry vision
  • cuts/bruises slow to heal
  • weight loss (Type 1)
  • tingling, pain, numbness in hands and feet (Type 2)

Some myths are: eating too much sugar causes diabetes.  This is untrue, Type 1 is cause by genetics and unknown factors that can trigger the onset of the disease.  Type 1 is also an autoimmune disease because the body is attacking itself.  Type 2 is caused by genetics and other factors which could include obesity.  Other myth is that diabetics can’t have sweets, they can have sweets in moderation.

There is NO CURE right now for type 1 diabetes, insulin through needles or a pump is keeping our children, young adults and adults with type 1 alive.  Diabetes can be managed by medication, eating healthy, and exercise.  Some type 1 diabetics do a carb to insulin ratio which means they calculate how many carbs they are eating and give the appropriate amount of insulin for what they eat and what their sugar is at the time of the meal.

My daughter and other diabetics with type 1 have to poke their finger and check their blood glucose at least 4-8 times a day and take insulin shots at least 4.  Some are on a pump and they have to make sure it works properly and they put in the information correctly so they are given the right amount of insulin.  When we go anywhere we have to make sure we have her meter, insulin, needles, snacks for lows, and other supplies even if we are running to the store for a minute.  There have been times when she has had a glucose reading of 37 and was unresponsive and then another time of over 800 and was sick and very agitated.  It all depends on mood, time of the month, and food eaten along with stress level, activity level, and amount of sleep gotten.

My group next week will be made up of the diabetics and their parents and we will discuss how dealing with this disease affects their lives and their futures.   If you are a type 1 diabetic or parent of a diabetic and live in the Lansing, MI area please call 517-203-5270 for more information about my group and to sign up.

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