“This is a true event. The course of life can be ironic for some of us. It has the strangest ways of testing our resilience and teaching us lessons. As I was preparing for new frontiers as a diabetes educator, a close friend who is a doctor confided in me over a work lunch. Her only daughter, a 19 year old has Type 1 diabetes.
As a doctor, she has always given importance of raising her child ‘right’. Providing her the best health care, the optimum nutrition as well as nurturing her to be a good academic student.
The daughter had been a scholar throughout and great at playing basket ball. As planned by her parents, the 19 year old was sent to best university for post graduation uptown. Frequent calls from the girl were ignored by the mother as making cranky excuses of home sickness or just anxiety of adjusting outside home. The girl complained of fatigue, nausea and losing weight. A terrifying episode of fainting in class, made the parents realize all is not well. Medical examination indicated blood glucose levels of the girl to be 350 mg/dL at that moment. She was immediately given insulin administration and blood glucose levels were brought down within normal range.”
She was diagnosed to have Type 1 diabetes at 19 years of age, in first year of her college.
Facts you should know about Type 1 Diabetes:
- Diet, sugar and lifestyle are not triggers for Type 1 diabetes.
- It is an autoimmune disease that causes the pancreas to completely stop production of insulin-the hormone that controls blood glucose levels.
- If you have a family member with Type 1 diabetes, the genetic possibility of developing it is 1 in 20.
- Environmental factors, such as certain viruses, may trigger Type 1 diabetes in people who are genetically at risk.
- It is not contagious.
Understand Type 1 diabetes
The immune system of the individual for unknown cause starts to destroy the cells in your pancreas which produce insulin. This attack of beta cells happens over duration of few weeks, months, or even years. Once the beta cells are destroyed the pancreas are unable to make insulin. Without insulin the blood glucose rises to above normal range which is called hyperglycemia. If not treated with Insulin supply the hyperglycemia causes toxic levels of Diabetes Ketoacidosis.
- Mandatory- Taking Insulin Dosage As Prescribed.
- Regulation- Diet And Self Glucose Monitoring Is Essential.
- Active- Being Physically Active And Joining Social Support For Type1 Diabetes
Managing Diabetes- Young and Living with Type 1 Diabetes? Let BEATO team highlight and reinforce some important facts that can make an ultimate transformation to your management of diabetes.
Hypoglycemia- Understand and learn the symptoms. Write them down in a personal D-diary. Don’t be embarrassed to wear a bracelet that indicates that you have Type 1 diabetes and who to contact in case of an emergency.
What can cause hypoglycemia?
- Overdose of the insulin injection. Take dosage as prescribed.
- Taking insulin and not eating the meal.
- Exercise, playing, staying hungry for too long like evening out with friends or an academic stress can also cause hypoglycemia.
Always keep juice boxes, candies, glucose powder with you in a pocket, pouch or bag.
Inform your teachers /colleagues and friends.
It is wise to let your closest mates be it teachers, employers, colleagues know that you have Type 1 diabetes and what it means.
Relationships may need a bit of tweaking.
Your family will be your first support system. As much as they love you, their over protection may seem suffocating. Talk to them and understand their concerns. Empathy is important for one with Type 1 diabetes and the care givers, parents also need same. So communicate and be open with your feelings.
Friends are important. Let them know about your diabetes and how it is must for you to eat on time as well as making the right choices when it comes to eating.
Make your buddies understand that although you enjoy their company but the junk food, alcohol as well as smoking is actually life threatening for you and peer pressure to be avoided. Binge drinking and mixing drinking are not advised due to fatal hypoglycemic episodes. Making sure you have eaten and before you head out for any social outing is important. Never sip your insulin dosage.
Learn to re-evaluate the insulin dosage as per social gathering and timings from a certified diabetes educator.
Relationships and romance should not be fizzled out with diabetes. Make it a small part of your life and not take control of who you are or your passions. Making diabetes a mandate of conversations can be a date-spoiler but a brief conversation of what it is and how a hypo needs to be handled is good heads up in a healthy steady relationship. Although, erectile dysfunction and libido is not affected in youth with type 1 diabetes but is best to understand these can be one of the symptoms of diabetes with long run diabetes. Similarly, choice of contraception as well as pregnancy needs to be well thought of in a healthy active relationship.
Live diabetes with blissful sweetness in life! Don refrain yourself from being active and social. BEATO team is dedicated in offering you a positive outlook and is your support buddy in handing Type 1 diabetes while you are young and living it.