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Type 1 Diabetes

First-line treatment for individuals that are newly diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes would be to improve their lifestyle by choosing healthier options for their diet, increasing physical activity, and losing weight.

Insulin may be required if your blood sugar is very high and your diabetes remains uncontrolled. Insulin is administered through injections (shot) or can be added into your intravenous fluids during hospitalization.

Long-acting insulin (basal insulin) works to control blood sugar between meals and when you sleep. This medication is usually taken once or twice a day (often with your evening meal or at bedtime) which helps control your blood sugar around the clock. If you are taking oral medication but your provider wants to switch to insulin then more than likely this is the first type of insulin you will be prescribed.

Rapid or fast-acting (bolus) insulin is taken near mealtime. This insulin works quickly to control the sudden and rapid spike in blood sugar after you eat your meal.

If you think you have hypoglycemia, check your blood glucose. If your blood sugar reading is 70 mg/dl or below, have at least 15 grams of carbohydrates. Examples include the following: half a cup (4 ounces) of juice or regular soda, 3-5 hard candies, glucose tablets or glucose gel (read the instructions). After 15 minutes, recheck your blood glucose.

This type of diabetes is chronic and develops in younger people but can be diagnosed in young adults as well. Only about 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn to manage their condition and live a long, healthy life.

Diagnosis of diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association, includes a fasting blood glucose higher than 126 mg/dl, a random blood sugar of 200 mg/dl or higher with symptoms of hyperglycemia, an abnormal 2-hour glucose-tolerance test and/or a hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) of 6.5% or higher.

Causes of Type 1 Diabetes

The causes of type 1 diabetes are unknown but genetic and environmental factors contribute to the disease. In type 1 diabetes, the immune system mistakenly destroys the beta cells in the pancreas that makes insulin. The body treats beta cells as foreign invaders and destroys them, which can result in little to no insulin for the body. Insulin is a hormone in the body required to move sugar into the cells for energy. Lack of insulin in the body leads to high sugar levels in the body.

Complications of Diabetes

Complications occur when blood sugar in the body is uncontrolled or is not treated over long periods of time. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to several complications, such as amputations and nerve damage, kidney or eye problems, heart disease, and stroke to name a few.