Living with Type I Diabetes
Each year, more than one million people are diagnosed with diabetes. Of those, only about 5% have Type I diabetes, while the other 95% has Type II.
Type I diabetes is also known as Juvenile Diabetes. This is because it is usually diagnosed in children and young adults generally ranging in ages from 10 – 25. The cause of diabetes in youth is generally a genetic abnormality when the pancreas stops producing the insulin that is needed to convert sugars and other food into energy. Symptoms can include frequent urination, wounds that don’t heal, increased thirst, and weight loss.
Here are some guidelines to help you or a loved-one living with Type I Diabetes.
First, you will need to monitor your blood glucose levels throughout the day and give yourself insulin injections as needed. Work closely with your doctor to make a plan to get the proper insulin therapy for your needs.
Making healthy eating choices is also important. In a world of drive-thru windows, this can be difficult. It’s important for you to make daily meal plans so you can manage your blood-sugar levels and know how different foods will affect you. Just because you’re diabetic doesn’t mean that you have to feel deprived. There are numerous cookbooks available that will provide healthy recipes for better eating of a wide variety of meals and snacks.
Exercise is a key ingredient in staying healthy. However, you’ll need to plan ahead to be sure your body is prepared. Be sure to check your blood glucose level prior to exercising and also during and after each type of exercise so you’ll have a better understanding how each type of exercise impacts your levels. Keep a journal so you can track the changes and keep a log of what you eat so you know how to pair certain foods with certain exercises. Once a routine is established, it will become easier to manage.
Lastly, a good support system is important to your success in living with diabetes. If you’re the parent of a child with diabetes, this can be a daunting task. There are family support systems available for you as well. And, helping a young person with balancing nutrition, exercise, and proper medication will help them become independent adults with a healthy lifestyle.
Remember, a diabetes diagnoses is not a death sentence, you can still do anything you set your mind to!