The Basics of Type 1 Diabetes

Today I am going to be running you through the basics of what type 1 diabetics, have to try and do every signal day, to try and manage their diabetes.

Disclaimer: Diabetes both 1 and 2 are very complex conditions that are treated differently in different countries, and everyone with diabetes will have slightly different ways that they choose to look after themselves as well. Today’s post is just a basic overall view of type one diabetes in the UK. Anything I say regarding diabetes, don’t take it as the holy grail as I am no expert and I’m just trying to figure it out as I go, and if you have any queries make sure to ask your local diabetic team.

As type 1 diabetes we are having to try and maintain a blood sugar level between 4 and 8 manually 24 hours a day. This is done by injecting ourselves with a background insulin and a quick acting insulin. The background insulin is either taken once or twice a day to help maintain a steady blood sugar level. The quick acting insulin is injected before each meal depending on how much carbs we are going to eat, to stop our blood sugar level to rise really high and to try and keep it at a steady rate. If we do accidentally take too much insulin or do a lot of exercises our blood sugar may become dangerously low, which is called a hypo (hypoglycemic) which is then we need to eat or drink something with quick acting sugar like some sweets or an apple juice.

What happens if we are unable to treat a hypo? Our bodies will go into a hypoglycemic coma as the brain doesn’t have enough glucose to function. If our blood sugar rises too high then the short term effect is called being hyperglycemic (hyper) but it is the long-term effects that are the worry as if a diabetic doesn’t properly control their high blood sugar over a long period of time then they are much more likely to develop kidney disease, have a stroke and other very serious health complications.

I hope to of helped at least one person by writing this post. Over the next couple of week, a will be following on in a mini-seres talking about the words and jargon we use, equipment and a crash course on carb counting. I hope you enjoyed today’s post and that you’re having a great today.

That’s all from me for now – Kathryn 🙂

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