FAST FACTS

Clear, accurate answers to your diabetes questions

1: What is type 1 diabetes (T1DM)?

2: Why is insulin important in the body?

3: What does glucose do in the body?

4: When was insulin invented?

5: Why is low blood sugar a problem?

6: Why is high blood sugar a problem?

7: What causes low blood sugar?

8: What causes high blood sugar

9: Is there a cure for type 1 diabetes?

10: Explain diabetes to a young kid

Fast facts about type 1 diabetes

Is there a cure for type 1 diabetes?

Short answer: There is no cure for type 1 diabetes. But there is very effective care and treatment, which enables a person with T1DM to live a long, normal, active life. The most important treatment is taking insulin by injection or pump.

Want to know more?

Insulin: The main, and vital, treatment is taking insulin by injection or pump. A person with T1DM must take insulin his/her whole life because their body has stopped making insulin. A person with T1DM cannot be weaned off insulin, nor can he stop taking it because he is not hungry or feels ill.

Blood glucose: In addition to taking insulin, the person will regularly and carefully monitor his blood glucose levels with the aim of keeping it within a normal range (about 90 to 110 mg/dL).

If blood sugar becomes too low it's called hypoglycemia (mild hypoglycemia can occur at bg about 75 mg/dL; it is severe at about 55 mg/dL and below).

If blood glucose is too high, it is called hyperglycemia. Untreated high blood glucose leads to diabetic ketoacidosis (bg usually over 250 mg/dL; in severe DKA, 400 mg/dL and higher), which will involve a hospital stay.

It is important to keep blood glucose within a normal range over time in order to prevent serious complications caused by high blood glucose. These include eye damage (retinopathy), kidney damage (nephropathy), and nerve damage (neuropathy), and heart problems. These complications are all preventable.

Diet is another important of T1DM care. It is important for people with diabetes to know what they are eating and the effects that it can have on blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and their general health. It it as important for people with diabetes as for others to avoid the problems of obesity.

Exercise is important. It strengthens muscles, the heart, and lungs, just as it does for the general population. By maintaining normal weight, less strain is put on joints, the heart, and lungs.

Exercise also helps a person to maintain focus, fight feelings of sadness and depression, and resist stress. It lowers blood pressure, and improves a person's sex life.

Exercise also increases insulin sensivity, so that less insulin is needed to handle the carbs he eats.

By David Hay Jones

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