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

What causes high blood glucose (hyperglycemia)?

Short answer: High blood glucose can be caused by taking too little insulin or skipping an injection, eating to much, or eating food with too many carbs. It can also be brought on by missing a workout, by illness, stress, and anxiety .

Want to know more?

Too much glucose in the blood is called hyperglycemia or high blood glucose. It can be caused by many things, for example skipping an insulin injection or taking too little insulin for the food you have eaten.

Anxiety and stress also raise blood sugar. Adrenaline has the effect of raising blood glucose,

High blood sugar is harder to sense than low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). If blood glucose is very high, a person can feel the following symptoms: headache, blurry vision, thirst, nausea, frequent urination, and dry, itchy skin.

If high blood glucose is not treated, it can become diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a serious condition requiring hospital treatment.

In the United States , about 30 percent of children and 20 percent of adults with T1DM find out they have the disease as a result of being treated for DKA. In the absence of insulin, glucose builds up in the blood.

DKA is always suspected if blood glucose is above 250 mg/dl and when there are ketones in the urine. Ketones are a result of the body breaking down fat for energy.

If a person has consistently high blood glucose over many years, a number of serious complications can occur. These are eye damage (retinopathy), kidney damage (nephropathy), nerve damage (neuropathy), and heart problems.

These long term complications can be prevented by keeping blood glucose within a normal range, by good diet, and exercise.

By David Hay Jones

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