How Does Diabetes Affect The Body
There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.
Both types of diabetes are chronic diseases that affect the way your body regulates blood sugar or glucose. Glucose is the fuel that feeds your bodys cells, but to enter your cells it needs a key. Insulin is that key.
People with type 1 diabetes dont produce insulin. You can think of it as not having a key.
People with type 2 diabetes dont respond to insulin as well as they should and later in the disease often dont make enough insulin. You can think of it as having a broken key.
- having very dry skin
- having more infections than usual
Having Your Blood Glucose Levels Checked
You’ll be measuring your blood glucose yourself every day, to check your levels.
Your GP or diabetes care team will also carry out a different blood test every two to six months, called the HbA1c test.
This gives a clearer idea of how well your treatment plan is working, by measuring how stable your glucose levels have been over the past 6-12 weeks.
It measures the amount of haemoglobin, which is the oxygen-carrying substance in red blood cells that has glucose attached to it. A high HbA1c level may indicate that your blood glucose level is consistently high and that your diabetes treatment plan needs to be altered.
The ideal HbA1c target for people with diabetes is below 53 mmol/mol.
Diabetes Mellitus Type 1
Kris, a 9-year old, loves dancing. She is a famous dancer at school, and a good one too. In between classes and dance lessons is her love for juices and carbonated drinks. She love it so much that even when everyones asleep she would sneak a pack of powdered juice and mix it inside her bedroom, and drank the whole pitcher by herself. You see, diabetes mellitus runs in Kris family, and it did not take long enough for her parents to found out that she has one too.
Don’t Miss: What Is To High Blood Sugar Level
Complications Of Type 1 Diabetes
The discovery of insulin in 1922 transformed type 1 diabetes from a terminal to a treatable disease. Despite the advances in care discussed previously, the disease continues to be associated with substantial medical, psychological, and financial burden. Hypoglycaemia and ketoacidosis are persistent potentially life-threatening complications. Severe hypoglycaemic events requiring treatment assistance from another person occur at rates of 1620 per 100 person-years hypoglycaemic events leading to loss of consciousness or seizure occur at a rate of 28 per 100 person-years.103105 Recurrent hypoglycaemia results in an increased likelihood of hypoglycaemia unawareness and subsequent severe hypoglycaemic events, since recurrent hypoglycaemia reduces the glucose concentration that triggers the counter-regulatory responses to return to euglycaemia.106 Hypoglycaemia unawareness can improve with edu cation, support, and glucose targets that are aimed at avoiding biochemical hypoglycaemia, while maintaining overall metabolic control.107
An additional noteworthy complication of type 1 diabetes is the patient-reported burden of adverse also their family, friends, and caregivers.131 Fear of hypoglycaemia is a prevalent issue, particularly for the families of very young children with type 1 diabetes.132 Furthermore, poor quality of life is predictive of subsequent poor glycaemic control.133
How Is Type 1 Diabetes Treated
People with Type 1 diabetes need synthetic insulin every day, multiple times a day in order to live and be healthy. They also need to try to keep their blood sugar within a healthy range.
Since several factors affect your blood sugar level, Type 1 diabetes management is complex and highly individualized.
Three of the main components of Type 1 diabetes management include:
- Carbohydrate counting.
Insulin for Type 1 diabetes management
There are several different types of synthetic insulin. They each start to work at different speeds, and they last in your body for different lengths of time. You may need to use more than one type.
Some types of inulin are more expensive than others. Work with your endocrinologist to find the right type of insulin for your needs.
The amount of insulin you need throughout the day depends on several factors including:
- The types of food you eat.
- Your blood sugar level at any given time.
Along with a background level of insulin , youll need to give yourself specific amounts of insulin when you eat and to correct high blood sugar levels.
You can take insulin in the following ways:
The amount of insulin you need day to day will vary across your lifespan and under specific circumstances. For example, you typically need larger doses of insulin during puberty, pregnancy and when youre taking steroid medication.
Blood sugar monitoring for Type 1 diabetes management
- Access to diabetes technology and supplies.
Carb counting for Type 1 diabetes management
You May Like: How To Check Glucose Levels
How Do You Manage Type 1 Diabetes
Even though this is a life-threatening disorder but it is not something that can not be managed. Living a healthy lifestyle and taking care of your diet while being on your meds and getting used to a proper routine is as simple as it can be.
You need to make sure that your physical activity is not low as you should not gain extra weight. Your diet has to be low in sugar and junk foods.
There is no need to worry about things getting complicated if you make a proper schedule and follow your healthy routine. You can consult your doctor.
The only current treatment is insulin administration. Insulin is best administered via insulin pumps, however, it can also be injected via pen devices or insulin syringes.
When injected via pen or syringe devices, it is best to administer insulin three or four times a day. With each meal, short-acting insulin is given and basal insulin is administered at night.
However, because of the increased incidence of euglycemic diabetic ketoacidosis, the drug was withdrawn. Although, Forxiga remains one of the favorite drugs for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, especially in patients with concomitant heart failure.
How Else Can I Manage Type 1 Diabetes
Along with insulin and any other medicines you use, you can manage your diabetes by taking care of yourself each day. Following your diabetes meal plan, being physically active, and checking your blood glucose often are some of the ways you can take care of yourself. Work with your health care team to come up with a diabetes care plan that works for you. If you are planning a pregnancy with diabetes, try to get your blood glucose levels in your target range before you get pregnant.
Don’t Miss: How Often Should You Replace Your Glucose Meter
Diabetes Sick Day Rules
If you need to take insulin to control your diabetes, you should have received instructions about looking after yourself when youre ill known as your sick day rules.
Contact your diabetes care team or GP for advice if you havent received these.
The advice youre given will be specific to you, but some general measures that your sick day rules may include could be to:
- keep taking your insulin its very important not to stop treatment when youre ill your treatment plan may state whether you need to temporarily increase your dose
- test your blood glucose level more often than usual most people are advised to check the level at least four times a day
- keep yourself well hydrated make sure you drink plenty of sugar-free drinks
- keep eating eat solid food if you feel well enough to, or liquid carbohydrates such as milk, soup and yoghurt if this is easier
- check your ketone levels if your blood glucose level is high
Seek advice from your diabetes care team or GP if your blood glucose or ketone level remains high after taking insulin, if:
- youre not sure whether to make any changes to your treatment
- you develop symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis
- you have any other concerns
How Is Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosed
Type 1 diabetes is relatively simple to diagnose. If you or your child has symptoms of Type 1 diabetes, your healthcare provider will order the following tests:
- Blood glucose test: Your healthcare provider uses a blood glucose test to check the amount of sugar in your blood. They may ask you to do a random test and a fasting test . If the result shows that you have very high blood sugar, it typically means you have Type 1 diabetes.
- Glycosylated hemoglobin test : If blood glucose test results indicate that you have diabetes, your healthcare provider may do an A1c test. This measures your average blood sugar levels over three months.
- Antibody test: This blood test checks for autoantibodies to determine if you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Autoantibodies are proteins that attack your bodys tissue by mistake. The presence of certain autoantibodies means you have Type 1 diabetes. Autoantibodies usually arent present in people who have Type 2 diabetes.
Your provider will also likely order the following tests to assess your overall health and to check if you have diabetes-related ketoacidosis, a serious acute complication of undiagnosed or untreated Type 1 diabetes:
Read Also: How Does Diabetes Cause Blindness
Treating Type 1 Diabetes
It’s important that diabetes is diagnosed as early as possible. If left untreated, type-1 diabetes is a life-threatening condition. It’s essential that treatment is started early.
Diabetes can’t be cured, but treatment aims to keep your blood glucose levels as normal as possible and control your symptoms, to prevent health problems developing later in life.
If you’re diagnosed with diabetes, you’ll be referred to a diabetes care team for specialist treatment and monitoring.
As your body can’t produce insulin, you’ll need regular insulin injections to keep your glucose levels normal. You’ll be taught how to do this and how to match the insulin you inject to the food you eat, taking into account your blood glucose level and how much exercise you do.
Insulin injections come in several different forms, with each working slightly differently. You’ll most likely need a combination of different insulin preparations.
Insulin is given to some patients by a continuous infusion of fast acting insulin . This is where a small device constantly pumps insulin into your bloodstream through a plastic tube that’s inserted under the skin with a needle.
There are alternatives to insulin injections and pumps, but they’re only suitable for a small number of patients. They are:
Complications Of Type 1 Diabetes :
Diabetes can damage almost every organ of our body. Longstanding uncontrolled diabetes is associated with many microvascular and macrovascular complications.
Complications from type 1 diabetes over time may have an impact on the bodys primary organs. The heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes, and kidneys are some of these organs. The risk of several problems can be reduced by maintaining normal blood sugar levels.
Other Forms Of Diabetes
In 1% to 5% of people who have diabetes, other conditions might be the cause. These include diseases of the pancreas, certain surgeries and medications, and infections. In these cases, your doctor might want to keep an eye on your blood sugar levels.
American Diabetes Association: “Frequently Asked Questions about Pre-Diabetes,” “Type 2 Diabetes,” “The Dangerous Toll of Diabetes,” tion: “Gestational Diabetes,” “About Insulin and Other Drugs.”
National Library of Medicine: “Diabetes.”
National Diabetes Education Project: “About Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes.”
National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse : “National Diabetes Statistics, 2011.”
Merck Manual Consumer Version: âDiabetes Mellitus .â
CDC: âAbout Diabetes,â âPrediabetes: Your Chance to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes.â
World Journal of Diabetes: âType 2 diabetes mellitus in children and adolescents.â
Diabetes And Numbness In Hands And Feet
People with type 1 and type 2 diabetes may experience numbness and tingling in their hands or feet. Good glucose management significantly reduces the risk of developing numbness and tingling in someone with type 1 diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association .
Although many of the symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are similar, they present in very different ways.
Some people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms at all and dont discover they have the condition until complications arise.
The symptoms of type 1 diabetes develop quickly, typically over the course of several weeks.
Once known as juvenile diabetes, this type usually develops in childhood or adolescence. But its possible to develop type 1 diabetes later in life.
must be regularly taken , and blood sugar levels must be regularly checked.
Some people take injections into soft tissue, such as the stomach, arm, or buttocks, several times a day. Other people use insulin pumps. Insulin pumps supply a steady amount of insulin into the body through a small tube.
Blood sugar testing is an essential part of managing type 1 diabetes because blood sugar levels can go up and down quickly.
Monitoring your blood sugar is an essential part of type 2 diabetes management, too. Its the only way to know whether youre meeting your target levels.
Don’t Miss: Onset Age Of Type 1 Diabetes
Search Strategy And Selection Criteria
We searched MEDLINE for publications in English published between Jan 1, 2014, and March 1, 2018, using the term type 1 diabetes and MEDLINE subheadings and selected papers on the basis of our opinion of their scientific importance. Research published since the 2014 Lancet Seminar on this topic was given particular attention. We provide an overview of type 1 diabetes focusing on updating the reader on recent advances and controversies.
Symptoms And Risk Factors
It can take months or years before symptoms of type 1 diabetes are noticed. Type 1 diabetes symptoms can develop in just a few weeks or months. Once symptoms appear, they can be severe.
Some type 1 diabetes symptoms are similar to symptoms of other health conditions. Dont guess! If you think you could have type 1 diabetes, see your doctor to get your blood sugar tested. Untreated diabetes can lead to very seriouseven fatalhealth problems.
Risk factors for type 1 diabetes are not as clear as for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. However, studies show that family history plays a part.
Don’t Miss: Cured Of Type 1 Diabetes
How Can Parents Help
Now is the perfect time to help your child to create healthy habits for life. Heres how:
- Get involved with daily care. Help your child put their care plan into action every day. From counting carbs, to calculating insulin doses, and giving injections, theres a lot to learn at first. Share the responsibilities with your child. Over time, theyll be able to take on more on their own. Turn to your childs care team with any questions about the care plan or daily care.
- Learn all you can about diabetes. The more you know about type 1 diabetes, the more confident youll feel about helping your child manage it day to day. And a solid understanding of diabetes lets you advocate for your child. You can share your knowledge with important people in your childs life, like grandparents, teachers, coaches, and babysitters. Doing so helps you build a community of support for your child.
- Encourage your child. It can take a while to adjust to the new responsibilities that come with type 1 diabetes. Remind your child that many kids their age have type 1 diabetes, and they follow a similar care plan. If your child has concerns that youre not sure how to handle, ask the care team. Theyll connect you with the right resources.
Having a child with type 1 diabetes may seem overwhelming at times, but you’re not alone. If you have questions or problems, reach out to your childs diabetes care team they can help with all kinds of issues, and will guide your family through this journey.
Eating A Healthy Balanced Diet
What you eat can make a difference to how you feel and how you manage your condition. Thats why weve got a huge range of tasty and nutritious recipes ready for you to try.
Whether youre cooking up a feast for dinner, or looking for something lighter for lunch, weve got you covered. Simply search by ingredient, meal type or dietary requirement and enjoy eating with diabetes.
Recommended Reading: Does Low Glucose Mean Diabetes
Future Treatments Of Insulin
Some treatments that are being studied include:
Transplantation of the pancreas:
- After a successful pancreas transplant, a patient would no longer require insulin. However, pancreatic transplants arent always successful, and the surgery is fraught with dangers.
- Because these complications are often more harmful than diabetes itself, pancreas transplants are usually reserved for persons who have extremely difficult-to-control diabetes or who also require a kidney transplant.
Transplantation of islet cells.
- Islet cell transplantation, which supplies new insulin-producing cells from a donor pancreas, is being tested by researchers.
- Although there have been some issues with this experimental process in the past, new techniques and stronger medications to prevent islet cell rejection may increase its prospects of becoming a successful treatment in the future.
Type 1 Diabetes Accounts For About 5
- It is diagnosed in every ethnic group, but is most frequent in individuals of European ancestry.
- While type 1 diabetes is commonly diagnosed during adolescence and early adulthood, it can occur at any age. Older people who develop type 1 diabetes are often misdiagnosed as having Type 2 diabetes.
- Most people first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes are lean.
- 85-90% will have no known family history of the disease.
- There are many theories about what causes type 1 diabetes. Autoimmune disease, viral infection, genetic disposition, and environmental factors may all play a role.
- There is a hereditary component to type 1 diabetes however, it is still difficult to predict who will develop it. Among identical twins , it is traditionally reported that only about 40% will both have the disease. Recent research suggests that the number may be much higher.
- Markers in your blood and the presence of certain gene types, coupled with test results, can help predict who might develop diabetes.
- Diabetes researchers are seeking ways to identify both high-risk individuals and ways to protect them. Read more about Type 1 Research.
Also Check: What Is The Quickest Way To Lower Blood Sugar