Diabetes Mellitus Type 1 In Adults
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Diabetes mellitus type 1 is a disease that affects how your body makes insulin and uses glucose (sugar). Insulin is a hormone that helps your body take sugar out of your blood and use it for energy. Normally, when the blood sugar level increases, the pancreas makes more insulin. Type 1 diabetes develops because your immune system destroys pancreas cells that make insulin. Your pancreas cannot make enough insulin, so your blood sugar level continues to rise.
- Insulin: You may need 1 or more doses of insulin each day to decrease the amount of sugar in your blood. Insulin can be injected or given through an insulin pump. Ask your primary healthcare provider which method is best for you. You must take insulin correctly. You will be taught how to give the insulin doses.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider or diabetes specialist as directed:
You may need yearly eye exams to check for retinopathy and yearly urine tests to check for kidney problems. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Blood sugar checks:
You will be taught how to use a glucose monitor. You may need to check your blood sugar level at least 3 times each day. Ask your primary healthcare provider when and how often to check during the day. Ask what your blood sugar levels should be before and after you eat. You may need to check for ketones in your urine or blood if your blood sugar is high. Write down your results, and show them to your primary healthcare provider. He may make changes to your medicine, food, or exercise schedules.
Medical alert identification:
Wear medical alert jewelry or carry a card that says you have diabetes. Ask your primary healthcare provider where to get these items.
High blood sugar levels can damage nerves and blood vessels. You may lose feeling in your feet because of nerve damage. Check your feet each day for sores. Wear shoes and socks that fit correctly. Trim your toenails straight across to prevent ingrown toenails. Do not cut your nails into the corners or close to the skin. Do not dig under or around the nail.
Your dietitian will help you create a meal plan that works for you. Follow your meal plan to help you to keep your blood sugar level under control.
Exercise can help keep your blood sugar level steady, decrease your risk of heart disease, and help you lose weight. Exercise for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week. Work with your primary healthcare provider to plan the best exercise program for you. You may need to eat a carbohydrate snack before, during, or after you exercise. If your blood sugar level is less than 100 mg/dL, have a carbohydrate snack before you exercise. Examples are 4 to 6 crackers, ½ banana, 8 ounces (1 cup) of milk, or 4 ounces (½ cup) of juice. Do not exercise if your blood sugar level is high and you have ketones in your urine or blood.
If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Smoking can worsen the problems that can occur with diabetes. Ask your primary healthcare provider for information about how to stop smoking if you are having trouble quitting.
Alcohol affects your blood sugar level and can make it harder to manage your diabetes. Women should limit alcohol to 1 drink a day. Men should limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day. A drink of alcohol is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1½ ounces of liquor.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- You feel weak or more tired than usual.
- You feel dizzy or have headaches.
- You are vomiting or have an upset stomach.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You are having trouble staying awake or focusing.
- You are shaking or sweating.
- You have blurred or double vision.
- Your breath has a fruity, sweet smell or your breathing is shallow.
- Your heartbeat is fast and weak.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.