Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes accounts for 5-10% of the diabetic population.  It is often, but not always, diagnosed in children and young adults.  It usually presents more acutely in younger patients and often requires hospitalization. 

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic medical condition that occurs when the pancreas, an organ in the abdomen, produces very little or no insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body to absorb and use glucose and other nutrients, store fat, and build up protein. Without insulin, blood glucose (sugar) levels become higher than normal.

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease that requires regular blood sugar monitoring and treatment with insulin.

Educating Yourself About Type 1 Diabetes

Being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes is usually a frightening and overwhelming experience, and it is common to have questions about why it developed, what it means for long-term health, and how it will affect everyday life.  The key is to remember that you can lead a totally normal life with diabetes—you just have to be on top of it.  You are not ill or sick, you are simply missing a hormone, one that luckily can be replaced.

With a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, you can still run a marathon, be a CEO of a company, go out dancing all night, etc.  It does not have to limit you in any way. You just have to control it, rather than let it control you. 

What does it mean to control it?  It means to educate yourself and accept diabetes, rather than ignore it.  If you are able to take it in as part of your life, then it will make dealing with it a much easier feat.   Monitoring your sugars, perhaps the best thing you can do to gain control, should become like brushing your teeth—something you have to do as part of normal life, rather than something that you dread.  

You should talk with your doctor or nurse about resources that are available for medical as well as psychological support. This might include group classes, meetings with a nurse educator, a certified diabetes educator, a nutritionist, social worker, and other educational resources such as books, websites, or magazines.

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