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Type 1 Diabetes In Adults: New Diagnosis

AMBULATORY CARE:

Type 1 diabetes

is a disease that affects how your body makes insulin and uses glucose (sugar). Normally, when the blood sugar level increases, the pancreas makes more insulin. Insulin helps move sugar out of the blood so it can be used for energy. Type 1 diabetes develops because the immune system destroys cells in the pancreas that make insulin. The pancreas cannot make enough insulin, so the blood sugar level continues to rise. A family history of type 1 diabetes may increase your risk for diabetes. Diabetes cannot be cured, but it can be managed.

Common signs and symptoms include the following:

  • More thirst than usual
  • Frequent urination
  • Hunger most of the time
  • Weight loss without trying
  • Blurred vision

Have someone call 911 if:

  • You cannot be woken.

Seek care immediately if:

  • Your blood sugar level is above 240 mg/dL and does not come down with treatment.
  • You have signs of high blood sugar levels, such as blurred or double vision.
  • You have signs of high ketone levels, such as breath has a fruity, sweet smell, or your breathing is shallow.
  • You have symptoms of a low blood sugar level, such as trouble thinking, sweating, or a pounding heartbeat.
  • Your blood sugar level is lower than normal and it does not improve with treatment.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • Your blood sugar levels are higher than your target goals.
  • You often have low blood sugar levels.
  • Your skin is red, dry, warm, or swollen.
  • You have a wound that does not heal.
  • You have trouble coping with your illness or you feel anxious or depressed.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Your healthcare team:

Your healthcare team may include physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. It may also include nurses, dietitians, exercise specialists, pharmacists, dentists, and podiatrists. Family members, or others who are close to you, may also be part of the team. You and your healthcare team will make goals and plans to manage diabetes and other health problems. The plans and goals will be specific to your needs.

Diabetes education:

Diabetes education starts right away. Members of your healthcare team teach you the following:

  • How to check your blood sugar level: You will learn what your blood sugar level should be. You will be given information on when to check your blood sugar level. You will learn what to do if your level is too high or too low. Write down the times of your checks and your levels. Take them to all follow-up appointments.
  • About insulin: You and your family members will be taught how to draw up and give insulin. You will learn how much insulin you need and what time to inject insulin. You will be taught when to not give insulin.
  • About nutrition: A dietitian will help you make a meal plan to keep your blood sugar level steady. You will learn how food affects your blood sugar levels. You will also learn to keep track of sugar and starchy foods (carbohydrates). Do not skip meals. Your blood sugar level may drop too low if you have taken insulin and do not eat.
  • Exercise and diabetes: You will learn why exercise is important. You and your healthcare provider will make a plan for your exercise. Your healthcare provider will tell you what a healthy weight will be for you. He or she will help you make a plan to get to that weight and stay there.

Do not smoke:

Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can cause lung damage and make it more difficult to manage your diabetes. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. Do not use e-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco in place of cigarettes or to help you quit. They still contain nicotine.

Wear medical alert identification:

Wear medical alert jewelry or carry a card that says you have diabetes. Ask your healthcare provider where to get these items.

Medical alert ID bracelet

Vaccines:

You have a higher risk for serious illness if you get the flu, pneumonia, or hepatitis. Ask your healthcare provider if you should get a flu, pneumonia, or hepatitis B vaccine, and when to get the vaccine.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You will need to return to have your blood sugar level checked. Your levels will let your healthcare provider know if your treatment plan is working for you. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2018 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Type 1 Diabetes In Adults: New Diagnosis (Ambulatory Care)

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