If you’ve received a diagnosis that you have type 1 diabetes, your initial shock will be followed by lots of questions. What does it mean? Why did this happen? What will my life be like now? Am I going to be okay?
Even if you have yet to receive a diagnosis, you may be experiencing symptoms that should cause you to schedule an appointment with your doctor. You should feel comfortable asking your doctor any and all questions you have about your condition. Your physician will provide you with answers, directions, and recommendations for how to manage your specific condition so you can continue living the same full, vibrant, active life that you did before. But here are some basic and common questions and answers for those just finding out that they or a loved one has type 1 diabetes.
What Is Type 1 Diabetes?
Previously called juvenile diabetes, an inaccurate moniker because it can develop in people of all ages, type 1 diabetes afflicts about five percent of the estimated 422 million people around the world who have diabetes.
When functioning properly, the body makes insulin-producing cells in the pancreas called islets which detect the amount of glucose in the bloodstream. Islets then release the right amount of insulin to normalize blood sugar levels and facilitate the release of glucose that will be used as energy. In type 1 diabetes, however, the body’s immune system attacks the islet cells in the pancreas.
Without islet cells, the body cannot produce its own insulin. As a result, the sugars stay in the bloodstream, essentially starving the cells of the energy they need to maintain the body’s essential functions. High blood glucose levels can cause severe short-term and long-term problems, including the risk of coma or death.
What Is The Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?
As opposed to those with type 1 diabetes, people with type 2 diabetes can produce some of their own insulin, but it is often in insufficient amounts to do the job. That is because the cells that need glucose put up resistance to the insulin trying to deliver it, leaving the sugars to build-up in the bloodstream.
Type 2 diabetes typically develops after the age of 35, but in recent years, an increasing number of younger adults are being diagnosed with the condition. Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle, along with genetics and age, increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
What Are The Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes?
If you experience any of the following common symptoms of type 1 diabetes, you should arrange an appointment with your physician:
- Constant thirst
- Frequent urination
- Increased hunger
- Blurry vision
- Unexplained weight loss
- Fatigue and weakness
- Cuts or sores that are slow to heal
- More infections than usual
Is There A Treatment of Cure For Type 1 Diabetes?
Currently, there is no cure for type 1 diabetes. There are, however, ways to manage the condition and keep its worst complications at bay.
Since people with type 1 diabetes cannot produce their own insulin, they typically need to take insulin to keep their blood glucose levels in check. Insulin can be injected, inhaled, or delivered through an insulin pump. In addition to insulin, a healthy diet and activity plan, developed in consultation with a physician, can play a significant role in maintaining proper blood glucose levels.
What Is The Best Way To Monitor and Control Glucose and Insulin Levels?
The imbalances in blood glucose and insulin levels caused by type 1 diabetes makes monitoring and maintaining the right levels of both a critical part of living with the condition.
Traditional glucose monitoring involved pricking a finger multiple times a day to get and test blood samples, an inconvenient and uncomfortable process. Now, due to advancements in technology, finger-prick glucose monitoring can be a thing of the past. Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) is a tested, safe, reliable, and accurate, transceiver device that helps those with type 1 diabetes monitor their blood sugar levels 24 hours a day without any need to interrupt their day to obtain a sample.
CGM has easy-to-use features that can help each person proactively record and track glucose levels—as well as provide valuable insights on data that helps manage exercise, meals, and daily health status. It is, quite simply, a game-changer for individuals living with type 1 diabetes.
Contact us today to see if you qualify for CGM and access our guide to continuous glucose monitoring.