Type 1 Diabetes Causes
Insulin is a hormone that helps move sugar, or glucose, into your body’s tissues. Your cells use it as fuel.
Damage to beta cells from type 1 diabetes throws the process off. Glucose doesnât move into your cells because insulin isnât there to do the job. Instead, it builds up in your blood, and your cells starve. This causes high blood sugar, which can lead to:
- Dehydration. When thereâs extra sugar in your blood, you pee more. Thatâs your bodyâs way of getting rid of it. A large amount of water goes out with that urine, causing your body to dry out.
- Weight loss. The glucose that goes out when you pee takes calories with it. Thatâs why many people with high blood sugar lose weight. Dehydration also plays a part.
- Diabetic ketoacidosis . If your body can’t get enough glucose for fuel, it breaks down fat cells instead. This creates chemicals called ketones. Your liver releases the sugar it stores to help out. But your body canât use it without insulin, so it builds up in your blood, along with the acidic ketones. This mix of extra glucose, dehydration, and acid buildup is known as ketoacidosis and can be life-threatening if not treated right away.
- Damage to your body. Over time, high glucose levels in your blood can harm the nerves and small blood vessels in your eyes, kidneys, and heart. They can also make you more likely to get hardened arteries, or atherosclerosis, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Check Your Blood Sugar Often
Checking your blood sugar levels often and writing down, or using an app to track the results will tell you how well you are managing your diabetes. Talk to your doctor and diabetes educator about how often you should check your blood sugar.
- Not everyone with diabetes needs to check their blood sugar every day. But some people may need to check it many times a day.
- If you have type 1 diabetes, check your blood sugar at least 4 times a day.
Usually, you will test your blood sugar before meals and at bedtime. You may also check your blood sugar:
- After you eat out, particularly if you have eaten foods you don’t normally eat
- If you feel sick
- Before and after you exercise
- If you have a lot of stress
- If you eat too much
- If you are taking new medicines that can affect your blood sugar
Keep a record for yourself and your provider. This will be a big help if you are having problems managing your diabetes. It will also tell you what works and what doesn’t work, to keep your blood sugar under control. Write down:
- The time of day
- The amount of carbohydrates or sugar you ate
- The type and dose of your diabetes medicines or insulin
- The type of exercise you do and for how long
- Any unusual events, such as feeling stressed, eating different foods, or being sick
Many glucose meters let you store this information.
Monitor Blood Sugar Levels Closely
High blood sugar levels often do not cause symptoms until they run well over 200 mg/dL. As such, it is essential for a person with diabetes to monitor their blood sugar several times a day. Doing so will mean that blood sugar levels never get that high.
A person with diabetes can use a home glucose monitor to check blood sugar levels. These are available for purchase online.
Recommendations for how frequently to check glucose levels during the day will vary from person to person. A doctor can make the best recommendations regarding blood sugar monitoring to a person with diabetes.
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Is There A Specific Diet For Type 1 Diabetes
The goal of managing type 1 diabetes is to keep blood sugar at normal levels to ward off future problems. “Taking control of your blood sugar is the only way that you’re going to save yourself from a lot of trouble later on,” Sandra J. Arevalo, RDN, national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, tells Health.
All people with type 1 diabetes will need to take insulin for the rest of their lives, but diabetes is a highly individual disease. Every person will need different amounts of insulin at different times, and the insulin must be carefully calibrated with not just food but also exercise, stress, sickness, your body size, and metabolismall of which can affect blood sugar. In the beginning, there’s a trial-and-error period to find the right combinations of insulin and diet . “It takes time to find that magic number,” says Arevalo. Type 1 diabetes is also not static, she adds. It will change as time goes on. For this reason and others, there is no one “diabetes diet.”
- 2 or more milks. This could also be low-fat or non-fat yogurt or cheese
- 4 to 6 ounces of meat or another protein
- Up to 3 fats
Alcohol, sweets, and fatty foods should only be taken in moderation.
The plate method can simplify things. Half of your plate should be non-starchy vegetables. Meat or another protein occupies one-fourth, and the final one-fourth is a grain or starch.
After You Have Low Blood Sugar
If your low blood sugar was mild , you can return to your normal activities once your blood sugar is back in its target range.
After you have low blood sugar, your early symptoms for low blood sugar are less noticeable for 48 to 72 hours. Be sure to check your blood sugar more often to keep it from getting too low again, especially before eating, physical activity, or driving a car.
If you used glucagon because of a severe low , immediately call your doctor for emergency medical treatment. If you have had lows several times close together , you should also tell you doctor. They may want to change your diabetes plan.
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Rise Shine And Check Your Blood Sugar
Check your blood sugar as soon as possible after you wake up. This will give you an idea of what your blood sugar was like overnight. You can correct it right away with food or insulin if you find it too high or too low.
You may also consider recording your blood sugar levels and other important information in a diabetes journal. This can help you keep track of your day-to-day management.
Managing Type 1 Diabetes
In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas produces little or no insulin which is vital for converting glucose into energy. People with type 1 diabetes need to do the job of the pancreas and replace the insulin via insulin injections or an insulin pump. The insulin acts to reduce the level of glucose in the blood.
Type 1 diabetes is a life threatening condition which needs to be closely managed with daily care. Type 1 diabetes is managed with:
- Insulin replacement through lifelong insulin injections or use of an insulin pump
- Monitoring of blood glucose levels regularly
- Following a healthy diet and eating plan
- Taking regular exercise
The aim diabetes management is to keep blood glucose levels as close to the target range as possible, between 4 to 6 mmol/L . However, the ranges will vary depending on the individual and an individuals circumstances. Talk to your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator for the range of blood glucose levels that are right and safe for you.
Keeping your blood glucose level at the optimum range is a careful balance between what food is eaten, physical activity and medication. Blood glucose levels which are too high, could result in hyperglycaemia or ketoacidosis. Blood glucose levels which are too low, could result in hypoglycaemia. It is important to learn about each reaction and respond appropriately. Ketoacidosis is an emergency and you must call emergency services immediately.
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Use A Nutritionist To Help You Make A Diabetic
I have worked with a number of phenomenal certified diabetes educators and nutritionists all throughout my career, says Dr. Soleimanpour. I would ask for their advice on why a certain food is a good choice or a bad choice. But you dont have to be an endocrinologist to seek out a nutritionist or diabetes coordinator to get that information.
In fact, a lot of health insurance plans pay for diabetes education and nutrition, but youll want to call to find out your coverage. The more information you have, the more successfully you can manage your diabetes. You can even follow these simple tricks for living well with diabetes from people with diabetes themselves.
Low Blood Sugar For Children Age 6 And Older
A blood sugar less than 70 is too low.
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Avoid Eating Large Meals
One way to keep carbs under control is by eating in moderation. I always tell my patients to spread their food out over the day, Weisenberger says. Dont eat small meals to save up for a big dinner. Feeding your body throughout the day helps regulate your blood sugar levels and prevents highs and lows, Crandall Snyder says.
Both Weisenberger and Crandall Snyder say to keep an eye on carbs, even while snacking. Classically, less than 15 g of carbs per snack is a good standard approach, Crandall Snyder says. Thats about whats found in 1 cup of fruit, she says.
Research The Menu Items Before You Eat At A Restaurant
Going out to eat is a bit of a gamble in terms of a meals nutrition and ingredients. Though many chain restaurants include the calorie count on their menus, its important to know other nutritional values as well. Dr. Soleimanpour tries to do his meal research before he orders anything on the menu.
Be prepared so you know what youre eating and what the implications are in the amount of carbs and high fat foods, he says. Checking out apps like CalorieKing and MyFitnessPal are two handy resources for looking up the nutritional info for a meal at a popular chain restaurant.
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How Much Will Change Of Diet Lower Blood Sugar
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How Many People With Type 1 Diabetes Use Continuous Glucose Monitors
In 2017, about 31% of adults with type 1 diabetes in the US used continuous glucose monitors , and this number has been increasing dramatically in 2021, the T1D Exchange reported that more than 80% of their participants are using CGM. CGM devices track glucose levels every few minutes throughout the day and night, providing extremely helpful information for staying in your target blood glucose range. Unfortunately, CGMs can be expensive and may not be covered under some insurance plans CGMs are currently reimbursed through Medicare for people with type 1 diabetes.
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Blood Sugar And Diabetes
When you are living with diabetes, knowing how to manage your blood sugar levels is essential. It can help to reduce your risk of complications and can make you feel healthier. It can also empower you in the knowledge that you are doing what you can to manage your condition.
While the two main types of diabetes vary, they do share this common factor too much sugar in the blood.
When you dont have diabetes, the sugar level in your blood is controlled by the hormone insulin, which is released by the pancreas. For people with type 2 diabetes, this system is faulty.
Either not enough insulin is being produced, or the insulin that is produced is not working. This causes the sugar in your blood to begin to build up, and can lead to lots of problems, often called diabetes complications.
The following are common complications of poorly controlled diabetes:
- Nerve and kidney problems
- Heart problems .
In a scientific statement released by The American Diabetes Association , up to 80% of people with diabetes developed heart problems. Better glycemic control may reduce the long-term risk of these problems occurring .
The impact of better glycemic control on microvascular problems is also well established. Extensive prospective studies are supporting the benefit of tight blood sugar control. These studies show that tight blood sugar control can lead to a delay in the progression of complications for people living with type 2 diabetes and how often they occur .
What Are The Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar
Some common symptoms of hyperglycemia may include:
Urinating more often than usual: Normally your body reabsorbs sugar as it passes through your kidneys. When the kidneys cant keep up, the excess is forced to come out through the urine.
Excessive thirst: The more you urinate, the more dehydrated you become, causing you to drink more.
Fatigue: High blood sugar affects the bodys ability to get sugar from the blood into the cells for energy, which can cause extreme tiredness.
Blurred vision: When there is excess sugar in the blood, it causes the lens of the eye to swell, which affects your ability to see.
Headaches: Dehydration caused by urinating more often may trigger headaches too. Its a vicious cycle.
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Ways To Effectively Control Blood Sugar
Did you know that having good blood sugar control is not only achieved by watching what you eat?
When youre living with diabetes, having well-controlled blood sugar levels is key. It is the link between whether your condition is well managed or not and can lead to fewer complications.
Maintaining good blood sugar control remains a challenge for many people living with diabetes . Whats more, many different factors can control how well you do this.
Eating a diet high in added sugars or refined carbohydrates is amongst the more obvious causes of high blood sugar levels. There are also several factors related to your lifestyle that can cause those spikes in blood sugar.
In this article, we look at the importance of good blood sugar control when you have diabetes, and what results you should be aiming for. We will then take a look at fifteen ways that you can effectively control your blood sugar levels.
How Can I Treat Low Blood Sugar
If youve had low blood sugar without feeling or noticing symptoms , you may need to check your blood sugar more often to see if its low and treat it. Driving with low blood sugar can be dangerous, so be sure to check your blood sugar before you get behind the wheel.
Carry supplies for treating low blood sugar with you. If you feel shaky, sweaty, or very hungry or have other symptoms, check your blood sugar. Even if you dont have symptoms but think you may have low blood sugar, check it. If your blood sugar is lower than 70 mg/dL, do one of the following immediately:
- Take four glucose tablets.
- Drink four ounces of fruit juice.
- Drink four ounces of regular soda, not diet soda.
- Eat four pieces of hard candy.
Wait for 15 minutes and then check your blood sugar again. Do one of the above treatments again until your blood sugar is 70 mg/dL or above and eat a snack if your next meal is an hour or more away. If you have problems with low blood sugar, ask your doctor if your treatment plan needs to be changed.
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What To Know About Diabetic Macular Edema
Fiber plays a preventative role, too. Studies have found that high-fiber diets can reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes by 15 to 19 percent compared to low-fiber diets, according to a March 2018 study published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine.
Youll find fiber in plant foods such as raspberries, peas, and whole grains, according to the Mayo Clinic. Beans are another good source of fiber. People with type 2 diabetes who ate at least a cup of legumes daily for three months had lower blood glucose levels as measured by the A1C test, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Beans also are an excellent source of folate, which is linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, a common diabetes complication, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Men should aim for 30 to 38 g of fiber per day, and women should eat 21 to 25 g per day, according to the Mayo Clinic.