What You Need to Know About Type 1 Diabetes

Also known as Insulin Dependent Diabetes, type 1 diabetes is, “a disease in which the pancreas produces little to no insulin.” (Hales & Lauzon, 2018). Although this disease is most often diagnosed in individuals aged 75 years and older, chances are that you or someone you know has diabetes. That is the very reason you should be interested in this article!

Being a disease that is more common than people think, it is important to know the risks, the treatments and the steps you can take to prevent this disease in your life or in the life of someone you know. Some not so fun facts about diabetes is that diabetes is the number one cause of blindness, non traumatic amputations and kidney failure, diabetes may increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke by two or three times.

Type 1 diabetes can be triggered by any virus, including a common cold, most people who have type 1 diabetes are diagnosed in the ER as children. Type 1 diabetes affects about 1.6 million people in the US alone, and diabetes was considered a fatal disease before the invention of insulin injections. Some of the risk factors that may lead to type 1 diabetes are: a low level of physical activity, a family history of diabetes, being overweight, or being a part of a high risk ethnic group such as Indigenous, Hispanic, Asian, South Asian or African. In order to know if you or someone you know carries type 1 diabetes in their life, you may look for signs such as increased thirst and frequent urination, extreme hunger, unintended weight loss, blurred vision, frequent infection or slow healing sores and general fatigue. Once these conditions are identified, you may start looking at treatment options. Although there exists no actual cure for diabetes, the most common treatment options for type 1 diabetes are insulin therapy: daily insulin injections, daily insulin infusion pumps, and daily oral medication.

Be sure to check in with your family doctor before making any serious considerations for treatment. To prevent the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes you must, “keep your blood glucose levels as close to a healthy range as possible,” (Hales & Lauzon, 2018) as well as eat healthier, move your body more frequently, lose weight, and get the proper support if needed. To learn more about type 1 diabetes and how to treat and prevent it, you may contact your doctor, visit www.diabetes.ca, or contact the Canadian Diabetes Association, as well as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Written by: Claudia Soares

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