In 2018, there were an estimated 20,700 people living with type 1 diabetes aged under 25. This age group is 3.6 times more likely to develop type 1 diabetes than those aged 25 years or older, but that doesn’t mean adults are immune to it.
What it does mean is that type 1 diabetes is a condition we need to be aware of early on, so conditions like cardiovascular disease, blindness and Alzheimer’s don’t become more common as a result.
But if we’re going to do that, we need to understand what type 1 diabetes actually is.
Firstly, type 1 diabetes is not preventable. It occurs when the immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. This is a problem because it means the body cannot produce the insulin it needs to use glucose for energy.
Researchers aren’t sure what causes the body to do this, but It means insulin replacement is essential to help the body function normally.
Insulin is a hormone that helps the body’s cells use glucose for energy, which it gets from the foods we eat. However, in type 1 diabetes, the body cannot produce insulin, which means there is excess glucose circulating in the blood.
Type 1 diabetes will require a careful balance of diet, exercise and management of insulin throughout the day using insulin injection or insulin pump.
So, what are the risk factors when it comes to type 1 diabetes? What symptoms should we be looking out for? And is there anything that can be done to manage type 1 diabetes? Keep reading as we break down everything you need to know about managing your condition.
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The risk factors for type 1 diabetes can be easily missed, so it’s important to understand the early warning signs.
Risk factors include:
The symptoms of type 1 diabetes can occur quite suddenly and are usually easy to spot. So, if you notice any of these symptoms happening to you, or your children, it is crucial to see your doctor immediately.
So, you’ve noticed some possible type 1 diabetes symptoms, but how do you get some answers? The first thing to do is to consult your doctor for an accurate diagnosis of your symptoms.
Some tests might include:
Without properly managing type 1 diabetes, it can lead to a number of serious health effects and complications, impacting major organs in the body, such as the heart, nerves, eyes and kidneys.
The Defeat Diabetes Program aims to maintain normal blood sugar levels, which can play a huge role in managing the risks of further complications.
Some health effects are:
There is no cure for type 1 diabetes. Management requires insulin injections several times a day or the use of an insulin pump, where you wear the device on the outside of your body with a tube connecting to a catheter inserted just under the skin.
Some of these insulin medications are:
However, there are a number of other things you can do to help manage type 1 diabetes, including blood sugar monitoring, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight, as well as adopting a low carb, healthy fat diet such as the Defeat Diabetes Program.
Always check in with your doctor before making any decisions about changing your treatment plan for type 1 diabetes to see if it’s right for you.
While there is no cure for type 1 diabetes, and managing your condition will always require insulin injections, your doctor may adjust medications from time to time to reflect any changes in blood sugar levels.
It is important to remember, your management plan can involve a lot more than just medications and diet because your wellbeing also relies on having a solid support system.
Other factors to consider are:
The team at Defeat Diabetes, supported by the latest evidence and a medical advisory panel of dietitians, GPs and surgeons, believe diet can help manage type 1 diabetes even though it is a lifelong condition.
If you’d like to know more or would like to share your success story, drop us a line in the ‘Help’ box below or at email@example.com.
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