This Is What Type 1 Diabetics Would Like You To Know
By: Meghan Luchaco
As a Type 1 diabetic, I firmly believe that this is one of the most misunderstood diseases. Of course, we need to give thanks to its image in the media, “diabetes jokes“, lack of education in schools, and many other things.
This is what Type 1 Diabetics would like you to know:
We didn’t get diabetes from living an unhealthy lifestyle.
As a matter of fact, we had absolutely zero control over this and nothing could have prevented it. It’s impossible for you to get Type 1 Diabetes from eating a Big Mac, candy bar, or piece of cake. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the body’s pancreas - this is where insulin is produced.
Without insulin, we will die.
End of story. There’s no way around this fact. Everyone needs insulin in order to survive. No matter how healthy we eat or how much we exercise a Type 1 Diabetic will never eliminate the fact that we need to administer insulin.
Yes, we can eat sugar!
If our blood glucose is “high” or “normal” then we just need to give a little extra insulin. If our blood glucose is “low” then we consume a little extra sugar to raise our levels back to “normal”.
Type 1’s love balance.
It’s a battle every single day trying to not let our blood glucose go too high or too low. It really is a full-time job. We can’t just quit this job. We work hard to stay alive!
It makes us feel different, sometimes.
Sometimes we have to test our blood glucose at the most inconvenient times. Sometimes we have a really good day then the next we’re fighting to level everything out. It’s frustrating. Sometimes we get tired of the constant work we have to put into it but we know that we can’t give up. Sometimes we feel alone.
There are different ways to administer insulin.
Some use an insulin pump which is a device that looks like a pager. This contains a cartridge of insulin which is delivered into our body through a thin tube somewhat like a small IV. Others use insulin pens or syringes. All 3 ways use a needle so as a Type 1 you need to get over the fear of needles, fast.
There are many challenges Type 1’s have to live with but we can do anything a “normal” person can do!
We want you to know the symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes.
Symptoms of Type 1 diabetes include but aren’t limited to increased thirst and urination, extreme fatigue, unintended weight loss, blurred vision, nausea and vomiting, and fruity breath. You can also be diagnosed at any age.
We want you to ask questions.
Instead of staring or assuming things we would prefer you to ask us. The more you know the more comfortable we will be around you. Type 1 diabetics like it when someone is truly interested in learning more about their disease.
There is so much more to being a Type 1 than what is portrayed in the media.
So before you post a picture of junk food and hashtag it or caption it with something to do with Diabetes think of what it actually means to be a Diabetic.