Type 1 diabetes can lead to several potentially threatening health issues and complications; therefore, it is highly recommended to comply with a careful management protocol for this chronic metabolic illness. Internal medicine doctors and endocrinologists are appropriately skilled to guide patients in appropriately managing the disease. Diabetic people also require frequent and periodic evaluations from the podiatrists, ophthalmologists and educators who could guide patientsmore about controlling their hyperglycemia.
What Is Type 1 Diabetes?
Previously referred as insulin dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes, type 1 diabetes is clinically defined as an illness in which the body produces little or no insulin at all. Insulin is a hypoglycemic hormone which is requiredfor the glucose entering in the cells of your body.
Factors that influence type 1 diabetes also include exposure to certain viruses. It usually occurs in the early years of life but may also appear in later years. So far there is no curative therapy available that could permanently treat the symptoms of the illness, yet several management options are available to maintain normal sugar concentration in the blood.
Most Common Type 1 Diabetes Treatment–Insulin
Since the initial symptoms are usually abrupt withsevere symptoms, hospitalization is often necessary. A weekly check-up will also be necessary until your blood sugar levels are under control.
Insulin helps in normalizing theblood sugar concentration. Type 1 diabetic patients need daily insulin intake that may be administered by insulin pump, insulin pen or via syringe. Oral administration of insulin is not recommended as it gets altered in the acidic medium of stomach. The duration and intensity of effect depends upon the type of insulin administered. A combination of different types may also be used for better control over blood sugar concentration. Insulin shots are usually needed 1-4 times per day. The nurse or doctor will educate you regarding self-administration of insulin.
Listed below are the benefits and drawbacks of insulin treatment:
Careful insulin treatment improves the blood sugar levels. This in turn minimizes the complications associated with the disease.
- You will have to watch your daily food intake and will have to incorporate exercise along with frequent blood sugar analysis.
- Some people may experience a little weight gain, which usually normalizes overtime with exercise.
- This treatment requires determination, however, some people may lose their motivation along the way.
Other Type 1 Diabetes Treatment Options
Some extra medications may also be used (via prescription) for the management of type 1 diabetes.
1. Take Additional Medications
- Pramlintide (Symlin).When injected before the meal, this medicine can delay the food movement within the stomach in order to restrict the spiky rise in the blood sugar levels.
- High blood pressure medicines.Angiotensin converts enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blocker assists in maintaining healthy function of thekidneys. These agents are prescribed to diabetic patients with moderately uncontrolled hypertension (or over 140/80 mm Hg).
- Aspirin.For prophylactic measures, you may be advised to consume aspirin on regular basis. Aspirin, or other blood thinning agents, helps in reducing the risk of cardiac morbidity in long standing diabetes.
- Cholesterol lowering drugs. These drugs, also known as statins, are also prescribed for the prophylactic reasons to minimize the risk of cardiac dysfunction.
2. Consume Healthy Diet
Try consuming a diet rich in low fat, highly nutritious and fiber-rich foods such as whole grains, veggies and fruits. Eat less of the refined carbohydrates products like sweets and white bread and less of animal products. Be sure to count the carbohydrates you consume in order to administer the right amount of insulin to metabolize the dietary sugars readily.
3. Exercise Regularly
Upon doctor’s recommendation, adopt a regular aerobic exercise for 30 minutes each day andtry activities like biking, swimming or walking. Also, add strength training and flexibility exercises to your daily routine. Physical activity tends to lower the blood sugar levels, so you might want to adjust the insulin administration and meal timing if you are increasing the duration of activity.
4. Monitor Blood Sugar Levels
Based on the selected insulin therapy, you should record the levels of your blood sugar levels 4 times a day or even more. Wash your hands once you’re done checking. You may monitor it before sleeping, exercising or starting a meal. CGM (continuous glucose monitoring) is very beneficial in preventing hypoglycemia. However, its accuracy doesn’t beat the standard blood glucose monitor.
If you find difficulty in coping up with type 1 diabetes, then watch the inspirational personal life experience video below to feel motivated and determined:
How to Live with Type 1 Diabetes
With your life as it is, things may become exhausting while you put up an effort to cope with your disease. Given below are some lifestyle modifications that will help you in living with type 1 diabetes.
- Be well educated about your disease and take all the medicines on time. Keep yourself determined and motivatedhis will make the journey less complicated for you.
- Add a tag to your outfit that pinpoints you are diabetic. Always carry the glucagon kit with you for emergencies and teach your loved ones how to use it.
- Have routine physical checkups. Periodic diabetes checkups don’t mean you can ignore routine physical checkups. Make sure you book an annual appointment with your primary care provider for physical and eye exam.
- Make sure your immune system doesn’t get weaker due to your disease. Get a hepatitis B vaccination if you didn’t get it earlier.
- Clean your feet on regular basis with lukewarm water. Dry and moisturize them with a lotion. Keep an eye for swelling, redness, blisters, sores or cuts.
- Add healthy nutritious food to your diet and avoid consuming foods that elevate the cholesterol levels.
- Smoking aggravates diabetes and may lead to heart and kidney diseases. Quit smoking or using tobacco in other forms.
- Keep yourself calmed and avoid getting yourself under any sort of stress as it affects the function of insulin.