I have been type one diabetic (also known as juvenile diabetes) since the age of 8. Before my diagnosis, I was a healthy 8 year old girl just about to enter the 3rd grade. I played all sports known to man! You name it, and I wanted to play it. But on September 4th, 2002, my life was flipped turned upside down. It all happened, what seems like, overnight. I had all the tell tale signs of diabetes, massive weight loss, frequent urination and I was constantly thirsty. When I went into the doctor, I weighed 42 pounds (before this I weighed about 60lbs) and was using the bathroom 3 times every hour! When I arrived at the doctor the first thing that they did was check my blood sugar. The number? A whopping 513! This is 433 points over what the average blood sugar should be. I was immediately sent to the hospital where I was greeted by an endocrinologist and his entire team upon walking in the door.
Let’s jump to today; I have just celebrated my 12th “diaversary” (my diabetic anniversary), and my 11th pumpaversary (11 years being on an insulin pump). I am a very healthy and happy 20 year old college junior. I have not let diabetes slow me down in any way possible. I played 3 sports in high school (receiving high honors in all) and played volleyball my freshman and sophomore year of college, and now playing tennis at Olivet College (I play 2 singles and #1 Doubles with my sister as my partner). Many people let diabetes rule their lives and I vowed to myself, when I was first diagnosed, that I would not let that happen; I run my diabetes, it does NOT run me. Diabetes affects more than 8% of the U.S. population and that number is growing. It is also the seventh leading cause of death-but it doesn’t have to be a death sentence.
Next week I'll go over the difference between type one and type two diabetes.
Difference Between Type One and Type Two
There are different kinds of diabetes; there is type one, type two, and gestational diabetes. In general, people with diabetes either have a total lack of insulin (type 1 diabetes) or they have too little insulin or cannot use insulin effectively (type 2 diabetes). Type 1 diabetes (formerly called juvenile-onset or insulin-dependent diabetes), accounts for 5 to 10 out of 100 people who have diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body's immune system destroys the cells that release insulin, eventually eliminating insulin production from the body. Without insulin, cells cannot absorb sugar (glucose), which they need to produce energy. In type 1 diabetes, Symptoms usually start in childhood or young adulthood. People often seek medical help, because they are seriously ill from sudden symptoms of high blood sugar. Episodes of low blood sugar level (hypoglycemia) are common. It also cannot be prevented.
Type 2 diabetes (formerly called adult-onset or non–insulin-dependent diabetes) can develop at any age. It most commonly becomes apparent during adulthood. But type 2 diabetes in children is rising. Type 2 diabetes accounts for the vast majority of people who have diabetes—90 to 95 out of 100 people. In type 2 diabetes, the body isn't able to use insulin the right way. This is called insulin resistance. As type 2 diabetes gets worse, the pancreas may make less and less insulin. This is called insulin deficiency. The person may not have symptoms before diagnosis. Usually the disease is discovered in adulthood, but an increasing number of children are being diagnosed with the disease. There are no episodes of low blood sugar level, unless the person is taking insulin or certain diabetes medicines. It can be prevented or delayed with a healthy lifestyle, including maintaining a healthy weight, eating sensibly, and exercising regularly.