Understanding and living with Type 1 diabetes

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*The author of this blog is not a medical professional and this article does not contain professional medical advice. This blog is not intended to substitute for medical advice, treatment, or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of the contents of this article. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.

Type 1 diabetes

29 million people in America are diagnosed with diabetes. Of those 29 million people though, only about 5% of them have Type 1 Diabetes. It is very rare, and most people don’t realize that. Often, type 1 diabetes is what happens when your immune system destroys the cells in your pancreas. These cells that it is destroying are your cells that create insulin for your body. The main difference between type 1 diabetes and type 2 is that for type 2 you cells are being destroyed by something else, like a disease or other condition that causes that to happen.

To help treat diabetes, most people need to take insulin. The insulin is what your cells are using as fuel. Without insulin people will go into shock, because their body is not making any so their cells will physically shut down, causing mass chaos in their entire system. It basically is starving your cells. There are plenty of ways to know if this is what is happening to you. If your cells are starving you will get severely dehydrated. This happens even when you are drinking a lot, because if your blood cells don’t have enough sugar then your bodies reaction is to urinate more frequently. This leads to dehydration. The constant peeing takes even more glucose out of your body causing you to lose weight very quickly. This is because you are peeing all your weight out.

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An even more severe thing that low glucose causes in your body is called diabetic ketoacidosis or DKA. This is caused because your body is going to start breaking down the fat cells instead. Then your liver will start to release any sugar that you have stored up. The glucose mixed with the ketones that your body starts producing when it is breaking down the fat, leads to a life threatening condition that needs to be treated immediately. That is why it is so important that people have access and are using their insulin.

While doctors do not know everything that leads to type one diabetes, they do know that your genes play a huge role in it. Your environment can also trigger type one diabetes though. If something in your environment signals to your body, your bodies response can be to start breaking down your pancreas. The symptoms of type one diabetes include heavy thirst, increased hunger even after eating, pain in your belly and it will progress to severe shaking rapid breathing and a strange fruity smell on your breath. All of these symptoms eventually lead to diabetic shock.

Unfortunately there is no way to prevent type one diabetes. The doctors can diagnose you by testing your glucose levels in your urine and checking your blood sugar.

Luckily most people with type one diabetes live long and healthy lives. The most important thing to remember when you suffer from type one diabetes is that you need to take your insulin injections. No one with this condition is going to live, not talking insulin injections. Your body cannot survive without it. There are different kinds of insulin, some that act quickly and some that are more slow acting. Make sure that you speak with your doctor if you or a loved one suffers from type 1 diabetes so that they can be treated properly. Diabetes can be scary but once you get into the swing of things, insulin becomes a part of your routine and your life will return to at least mostly normal.

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