Type 1 Diabetes

Millions of people around the world live with diabetes or know someone living with diabetes. The majority have type 2 diabetes, but an important minority have type 1 diabetes (~5%). Contrary to popular belief, type 1 diabetes is not a childhood disease. It occurs at every age, in people of every race, and of every shape and size. In fact, there are more adults who have type 1 diabetes than children, although it was previously known as juvenile diabetes.

In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. The body breaks down the carbohydrates you eat into blood glucose (also called blood sugar), which it uses for energy. Insulin is a hormone that the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives.

Contact the Endocrine Center Houston to schedule an appointment with a diabetes doctor today. 713-468-2122

 

Living with Type 1 Diabetes

You’ve just been told you have type 1 diabetes. You’ve just been told your child or a loved one has type 1 diabetes. What now? At its core, proper type 1 diabetes management is composed of a handful of elements: blood glucose control and insulin management, exercise, nutrition and support.

 

Medication

A diagnosis of type 1 diabetes means your pancreas is no longer capable of producing insulin. Through multiple daily injections with insulin pens or syringes or an insulin pump, it will be up to you to monitor your blood glucose levels and appropriately administer your insulin. You will need to work closely with your healthcare team to determine which insulin or insulins are best for you and your body.

Contact the Endocrine Center Houston to schedule an appointment with a diabetes doctor today. 713-468-2122

 

Exercise

Exercise is also a key component of proper diabetes care. Along with all of the other benefits you will receive from being active, your diabetes will also respond in kind with more stable blood glucose levels. We have plenty of information and tips to help get you motivated and keep your exercise routines fresh.

 

Nutrition

Nutrition is one of the most important pieces of the diabetes puzzle. Learning how different foods affect your blood glucose and how manage that within your daily routine will be key. Working with a registered dietitian who has expertise in type 1 diabetes to establish a personalized eating plan is a great place to start. This will include a strategy for balancing food, insulin doses, and physical activity. It will be important to revisit your eating plan as your preferences and daily activities change over time. A dietitian can also provide valuable guidance if you need to lose weight.

 

Mental Health

People with type 1 diabetes are at a heightened risk for mental health issues, including diabetes distress, depression, anxiety, and disordered eating. However, these are all treatable disorders. It is important to pay attention to your feelings about having diabetes or taking care of someone who has diabetes. Talk to your physician, or your diabetes educator, or anyone you feel comfortable with on your diabetes care team. They can help you connect to mental health care, whether it is with a counselor, a therapist, a psychiatrist, or a social worker. Having support to live with diabetes is essential. Sometimes talking to a friend with diabetes can also be helpful.

 

Support

Emotional support, while not often initially considered, plays a key role in diabetes care. Connecting with other people living with diabetes that understand the daily grind of counting carbohydrates, testing blood glucose multiple times each day and dealing with the various highs and lows (both physical and emotional) of life with diabetes can make all the difference.

Talking with people who “get it” is important, and our Online Community offers a place for people living with and affected by diabetes to find that support. Our Family Link program connects parents of children with type 1 diabetes.

Contact the Endocrine Center Houston to schedule an appointment with a diabetes doctor today. 713-468-2122

 

You Can Do This

Living with type 1 diabetes is tough but with proper care can be a footnote in your life’s story. Balancing nutrition, exercise and proper blood glucose management techniques with the rest of your life’s priorities mean anything is possible.

Contact the Endocrine Center Houston to schedule an appointment with a diabetes doctor today. 713-468-2122

Source: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/recently-diagnosed/living-with-type-1-diabetes.html

FAQ

What is type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes, commonly called juvenile diabetes, is caused by an inability of the pancreas to make sufficient insulin to control blood sugars.   It is an autoimmune disease, usually caused by the immune system attacking the beta cells in the pancreas that are responsible for making insulin.

Why did I get type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes tends to run in families, but the underlying cause is not known.

Can I take pills to control my blood sugar?

Patients with type 1 diabetes by definition need to take insulin.  Your diabetes doctor may add oral medication such as metformin to help the insulin work better, but insulin therapy is usually required.

What is a hemoglobin A1C?

Hemoglobin A1C is a blood test that gives a rough estimate of how high your blood sugars have been on average over the last 2‐3 months.  Your diabetes doctor will determine your goal hemoglobin A1C, which is usually around 6.5‐7.0.

Why is it important to control my diabetes?

Uncontrolled diabetes is a contributing cause of many serious health problems, included heart disease, strokes, kidney disease, blindness, and nerve damage.  It is a leading cause for dialysis use and for infections requiring amputations.  In addition, very high blood sugars can sometimes result in serious electrolyte abnormalities requiring hospitalization (diabetic ketoacidosis).

How can I prevent complications of diabetes?

First and foremost, keeping your blood sugars controlled has been proven to help prevent complications of diabetes.  It is also important to have a dilated eye exam, a foot exam, and a urine test every year.  Your diabetes doctor may also recommend a cardiac stress test.

How do I know if my blood sugar is low, and what should I do about it?

It is important to be aware of the symptoms and signs of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar, defined as less than 70), and be able to treat it.  Symptoms include shakiness, hunger, feeling weak, clammy, and slowed thinking or difficulty concentrating.  If hypoglycemia is severe, it can result in loss of consciousness and seizures.  Some patients who have hypoglycemia frequently may not experience many symptoms of hypoglycemia.  If you think your blood sugar is low, check your blood sugar to make sure.  You should also have your glucometer with you.  If it is low, drink a glass of juice, a half of a regular soda, a few hard candies, or some glucose tablets.  Retest your blood sugar in 30‐60 minutes.  If you are prone to severe hypoglycemia, you should have an emergency glucagon shot kit at home; ask your diabetes doctor for details.  Talk to your diabetes doctor if you have frequent hypoglycemia, since this may indicate that you need to change your insulin dosage.

Can I use an insulin pump to control my blood sugars?

Most patients with type 1 diabetes do well with an insulin pump, which is a device that delivers insulin constantly under the skin.   While insulin pumps do allow for greater flexibility in diet and lifestyle, it is important to remember that insulin pumps do not eliminate the need for the patient to test his/her blood sugars and pay attention to diabetes care.  Talk to your diabetes doctor to determine if a pump is right for you.

Can I use a glucose sensor?

Several companies now make glucose sensors that attach under the skin and monitor your sugar levels constantly.  These are often used in conjunction with an insulin pump.  They are particularly helpful for patients who experience frequent hypoglycemia or wide fluctuations in blood sugars, and have alarms that can be programmed to sound when your blood sugar drops or rises to a certain preprogrammed threshold, or when it is changing rapidly.  Again, it is important to note that sensors do not eliminate the need to check your blood sugars by fingerstick.  Talk with your diabetes doctor to learn more.

How do I make an appointment with a diabetes doctor at the Endocrine Center Houston?

There are 3 easy ways to make an appointment with a diabetes doctor:

• Send us a direct message on our website at http://endocrinecenterhouston.com/contact-us

• Send us an email at appointments@endocrinecenterhouston.com

• Call us at 713-468-2122

We look forward to serving you.