Sunday, August 3, 2014

Type 1 Diabetes

My roommate has type 1 diabetes, and over the course of the last three years of college I have learned a lot about this disease. I pay very close attention and am always asking questions about why, when, and how much insulin needs to be taken in order to stay healthy. I am also prepared if he would have an attack, because I know which syringe to use, how much, and where to inject him at. Now that I have provided you with a little  background of why I have chosen this topic, it is time to learn how this disease works. 

In type 1 diabetes, the body (pancreas) does not produce insulin, a hormone that converts sugar and other food into energy. Various factors may contribute to type 1, including genetics and exposure to certain viruses. Although there is no cure and can be very deadly, as long as a person takes care of themselves and uses correct insulin therapy, anyone can manage diabetes and live long, normal, healthy lives. 

Whenever a person with diabetes eats, is feeling jittery, or feels weak, they need to prick their finger and touch the strip to that blood in order check their blood sugar level.


Type 1 diabetes signs and symptoms may include:

  • increased thirst
  • frequent urination
  • extreme hunger
  • unintended weight loss
  • mood changes
  • fatigue and weakness
  • blurred vision
Roles of insulin:
  • Insulin circulates, enabling sugar to enter your cells
  • Insulin lowers the amount of sugar in your bloodstream
  • As your blood sugar level drops, so does the amount of insulin produced from the pancreas.
Anyone with a parent or sibling with type 1 diabetes, has a slightly increased risk of also developing this condition. The presence of certain genes indicates an increased risk of developing type 1. Although type 1 diabetes can occur at any age, the two noticeable peaks are usually between 4 and 7 years old, as well as between 10 and 14 years old. Adults are also able to develop type 1 diabetes. 

This disease can affect major organs in the body including heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes, and kidneys. If blood levels are managed and kept close to normal, this can dramatically reduce the risk of many complications. Long-term complications develop gradually, but can eventually be disabling or life-threatening.

Overall, diabetes is a very serious disease and is very scary, but for example with my roommate if you take care of yourself then nobody will ever know that you are in fact diabetic. 

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