Type 1 Diabetes Treatment
People who have type 1 diabetes can live long, healthy lives. Youâll need to keep a close eye on your blood sugar levels. Your doctor will give you a range that the numbers should stay within. Adjust your insulin, food, and activities as necessary.
Everyone with type 1 diabetes needs to use insulin shots to control their blood sugar.
When your doctor talks about insulin, theyâll mention three main things:
- “Onset” is how long it takes to reach your bloodstream and begin lowering your blood sugar.
- “Peak time” is when insulin is doing the most work in terms of lowering your blood sugar.
- “Duration” is how long it keeps working after onset.
Several types of insulin are available.
- Rapid-acting starts to work in about 15 minutes. It peaks about 1 hour after you take it and continues to work for 2 to 4 hours.
- Regular or short-acting gets to work in about 30 minutes. It peaks between 2 and 3 hours and keeps working for 3 to 6 hours.
- Intermediate-acting wonât get into your bloodstream for 2 to 4 hours after your shot. It peaks from 4 to 12 hours and works for 12 to 18 hours.
- Long-acting takes several hours to get into your system and lasts about 24 hours.
Your doctor may start you out with two injections a day of two types of insulin. Later, you might need more shots.
Treating Severely Low Blood Sugar
Blood sugar below 55 mg/dL is considered severely low. You wont be able to treat it using the 15-15 rule. You also may not be able to check your own blood sugar or treat it by yourself, depending on your symptoms. Make sure your family members, friends, and caregivers know your signs of low blood sugar so they can help treat it if needed.
Injectable glucagon is the best way to treat severely low blood sugar. A glucagon kit is available by prescription. Speak with your doctor to see if you should have a kit. Be sure to learn how and when to use it. Let family members and others close to you know where you keep the glucagon kit and make sure theyve been trained in how to use it too.
Its important to contact a doctor for emergency medical treatment immediately after receiving a glucagon injection. If a person faints due to severely low blood sugar, theyll usually wake up within 15 minutes after a glucagon injection. If they dont wake up within 15 minutes after the injection, they should receive one more dose. When the person is awake and able to swallow:
- Feed the person a fast-acting source of sugar .
- Then, have them eat a long-acting source of sugar .
Its also important that friends, family, co-workers, teachers, coaches, and other people you may be around often know how to test your blood sugar and treat severely low blood sugar before it happens.
If any of the following happens, your friend, relative, or helper should call 911:
Type 1 Diabetes Complications
Having prolonged high blood sugar can lead to a host of health problems, according to the NIDDK. They include:
- Bladder problems
- Sexual dysfunction
Having any type of diabetes can also put you at greater risk for complications from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus. We know that patients with uncontrolled diabetes and COVID-19 infection experience more severe symptoms of COVID-19, can have more extensive lung involvement, and die more often, says Thomas. Nearly 40 percent of COVID-19 deaths in the United States have happened to people who had diabetes, according to the CDC.
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Which Diets Are Recommended For Diabetes
Nutritional management and managing your blood sugar are key to living with diabetes.
If you have type 1 diabetes, work with your doctor to identify how much insulin you may need to inject after eating certain types of food.
For example, certain carbohydrates can cause blood sugar levels to quickly increase in people with type 1 diabetes. Youll need to counteract this by taking insulin, but youll need to know how much insulin to take. Learn more about type 1 diabetes and diet.
People with type 2 diabetes need to focus on healthy eating.
Weight loss of type 2 diabetes treatment plans. A doctor or nutritionist may recommend a low-calorie meal plan. This could mean reducing your consumption of animal fats and junk food.
Typically, people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes are recommended to reduce their consumption of processed foods, trans fat, sugary drinks, and alcohol.
People with diabetes may need to try different diets and nutritional plans to find a plan that works for their health, lifestyle, and budget.
How Does Diabetes Hurt My Tendons
Tendon damage in type 1 and type 2 diabetes happens because of substances called advanced glycation end products . They form when protein or fat mixes with sugar in your bloodstream.
Normally, your body makes AGEs at a slow and steady pace. But when you have diabetes, the extra sugar in your blood cranks up the speed, which affects your tendons.
Tendons are made from a protein called collagen. AGEs form a bond with it that can change the tendons’ structure and affect how well they work. For instance, they could get thicker than normal and might not be able to hold as much weight as they used to. As a result, your odds of getting a tear in one of your tendons go up.
Some tendon problems you could get if you don’t get your diabetes under control are:
- Frozen shoulder: Stiffness and pain that happens when a capsule that surrounds tendons and ligaments in your joint thickens up.
- Rotator cuff tears: Damage to the tendons and muscles that surround your shoulder joint, including the supraspinatus muscle.
- Trigger finger: Your finger becomes stuck in a bent position and straightens with a snap, like the sound of a trigger being pulled.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome: You get numbness, tingling, and weakness in your wrist because of pressure on the nerve that runs through it.
- Dupuytren’s contracture: Thickening of the tissue under the skin of your hand that causes your fingers to bend in toward your palm.
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Diet And Sugar Levels
Whilst insulin helps to lower sugar levels by allow cells to take in glucose from the blood, the food we eat raises sugar levels. When we eat, carbohydrate in food gets broken down into glucose during digestion and gets absorbed into the blood stream.
Our diet therefore plays a significant role in the control of our blood sugar levels.
Do I Have Other Treatment Options For My Type 1 Diabetes
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has played an important role in developing artificial pancreas technology. An artificial pancreas replaces manual blood glucose testing and the use of insulin shots. A single system monitors blood glucose levels around the clock and provides insulin or a combination of insulin and glucagon automatically. The system can also be monitored remotely, for example by parents or medical staff.
In 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a type of artificial pancreas system called a hybrid closed-loop system. This system tests your glucose level every 5 minutes throughout the day and night through a continuous glucose monitor, and automatically gives you the right amount of basal insulin, a long-acting insulin, through a separate insulin pump. You still need to manually adjust the amount of insulin the pump delivers at mealtimes and when you need a correction dose. You also will need to test your blood with a glucose meter several times a day. Talk with your health care provider about whether this system might be right for you.
The illustration below shows the parts of a type of artificial pancreas system.
Starting in late 2016 and early 2017, the NIDDK has funded several important studies on different types of artificial pancreas devices to better help people with type 1 diabetes manage their disease. The devices may also help people with type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes.
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What Are The Treatments For Diabetes
Diabetes is a serious disease that you cannot treat on your own. Your doctor will help you make a diabetes treatment plan that is right for you — and that you can understand. You may also need other health care professionals on your diabetes treatment team, including a foot doctor, nutritionist, eye doctor, and a diabetes specialist .
Treatment for diabetes requires keeping close watch over your blood sugar levels with a combination of medications, exercise, and diet. By paying close attention to what and when you eat, you can minimize or avoid the “seesaw effect” of rapidly changing blood sugar levels, which can require quick changes in medication dosages, especially insulin. Find out how to choose the right diabetes treatment for you.
How Do You Treat Diabetes Medications Diet Stem Cells
Its possible for you to treat diabetes. Diabetes is a serious disease with many long-term health consequences. While there is currently no cure, there are different ways to treat diabetes so it remains under control and you can live a full life. Learn ways to do that below.
As you treat and manage your diabetes, you wont be alone. Youll work with a treatment team consisting of multiple health care professionals that may include:
- Your primary care physician
- Mental health therapist
Perhaps the most important person on your diabetes treatment team is you. When you take an active roll in your health and diabetes management, you will be more successful in leading a healthy life.
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Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms
Signs are often subtle, but they can become severe. They include:
- Extreme thirst
- Heavy, labored breathing
- Frequent infections of your skin, urinary tract, or vagina
- Crankiness or mood changes
- Bedwetting in a child whoâs been dry at night
Signs of an emergency with type 1 diabetes include:
- Shaking and confusion
- Loss of consciousness
How Close Are We To A Cure
For a century, treatment for type 1 diabetes has focused on managing the disease. Thanks to past advancements in medicine, patients are able to control their blood glucose levels with regular insulin injections or an insulin pump.
Now clinical trials are underway for treatments to reverse type 1 diabetes and restore the bodys ability to produce insulin naturally. These trials are already allowing some patients to live insulin-free, significantly improving their quality of life.
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When Cgm Service Fails: 5 Tips For A Creating A Backup Plan
When an insulin pump and CGM are integrated, the CGM can deliver information to the pump about the patients current blood sugar level and the trend of the blood sugar. This allows the pump to potentially alter insulin delivery to help maintain blood sugars more within a healthy range, says Thomas. While the patient still needs to be very involved with his or her own diabetes management, these devices offer a helping hand.
What Medicines Might I Take For Diabetes
The medicine you take depends on the type of diabetes you have and how well the medicine controls your blood glucose levels, also called blood sugar levels. Other factors, such as any other health conditions you may have, medication costs, your insurance coverage and copays, access to care, and your lifestyle, may affect what diabetes medicine you take.
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Symptoms And Risk Factors
It can take months or years before symptoms of type 1 diabetes are noticed. Type 1 diabetes symptoms can develop in just a few weeks or months. Once symptoms appear, they can be severe.
Some type 1 diabetes symptoms are similar to symptoms of other health conditions. Dont guess! If you think you could have type 1 diabetes, see your doctor to get your blood sugar tested. Untreated diabetes can lead to very seriouseven fatalhealth problems.
Risk factors for type 1 diabetes are not as clear as for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. However, studies show that family history plays a part.
Get The Support You Need
Diabetes Canada is here to help provide information and support so that you can live a healthy life. A positive and realistic attitude toward your diabetes can help you manage it. Talking to other people with type 2 diabetes is a great way to learn, and to feel less alone.
Your health-care team is there to help you. Depending on your needs and the resources available in your community, your team may include a family doctor, diabetes educator , endocrinologist, pharmacist, social worker, exercise physiologist, psychologist, foot-care specialist, eye-care specialist. They can answer your questions about how to manage diabetes and work with you to adjust your food plan, activity and medications
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Hyperglycaemia Or Diabetes
Some signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes are:
- Feeling very thirsty
- Infections or thrush that reoccur
- Wounds that are slow healing or wont heal
- Rapid weight loss
If diagnosed and treated with insulin as soon as symptoms occur, a person with type 1 diabetes may not get to the point of feeling very unwell.
If signs and symptoms are missed, and the person does not get medical help early enough, glucose levels will begin to rise dangerously high. When this happens, and the body does not receive insulin, the body starts to break down its own fat stores for energy. The result of fat breakdown is ketones being produced. Ketones are seen in the urine with a urine dipstick test or in the blood via finger prick or a blood test via the vein.
Ketones are an acid. They are toxic when they rise above a certain level in the blood. This acidic state is called diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA for short, and it results from a lack of insulin. The signs and symptoms of DKA include:
- Signs and symptoms of hyperglycaemia
- Nausea and vomiting
If DKA is not treated promptly it can lead to death.
DKA is preventable in most cases. Some people have DKA by the time they are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes because their symptoms have been mistaken for another condition such as gastroenteritis, causing a delay in treatment.
DKA can develop in people already diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when:
Managing Type 1 Diabetes: Diet And Exercise
There is no one-size-fits-all diet or exercise plan for people with type 1 diabetes, according to the JDRFs UK branch. But a healthy lifestyle will help you keep your blood sugar in a healthy range. Be sure to speak with your doctor before embarking on any diet or exercise plan, to ensure you are making changes that are safe and appropriate for you.
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Is Type 1 Diabetes Preventable
Unfortunately, theres nothing you can do to prevent developing Type 1 diabetes.
Since Type 1 diabetes can run in families, your healthcare provider can test your family members for the autoantibodies that cause the disease. Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet, an international research network, also offers autoantibody testing to family members of people with Type 1 diabetes.
The presence of autoantibodies, even without diabetes symptoms, means youre more likely to develop Type 1 diabetes. If you have a sibling, child or parent with Type 1 diabetes, you may want to get an autoantibody test. These tests can help catch Type 1 diabetes in its earliest phases.
What Are The Different Types Of Insulin
Several types of insulin are available. Each type starts to work at a different speed, known as onset, and its effects last a different length of time, known as duration. Most types of insulin reach a peak, which is when they have the strongest effect. After the peak, the effects of the insulin wear off over the next few hours or so. Table 1 lists the different types of insulin, how fast they start to work, when they peak, and how long they last.
Table 1. Types of insulin and how they work1,2
|does not peak||36 hours or longer|
Another type of insulin, called premixed insulin, is a combination of insulins listed in Table 1. Premixed insulin starts to work in 15 to 60 minutes and can last from 10 to 16 hours. The peak time varies depending on which insulins are mixed.
Your doctor will work with you to review your medication options. Talk with your doctor about your activity level, what you eat and drink, how well you manage your blood glucose levels, your age and lifestyle, and how long your body takes to absorb insulin.
Follow your doctors advice on when and how to take your insulin. If you’re worried about the cost, talk with your doctor. Some types of insulin cost more than others. You can also find resources to get financial help for diabetes care.
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Testing For Type 1 Diabetes
A simple blood test will let you know if you have diabetes. If you were tested at a health fair or pharmacy, follow up at a clinic or doctors office. That way youll be sure the results are accurate.
If your doctor thinks you have type 1 diabetes, your blood may also be tested for autoantibodies. These substances indicate your body is attacking itself and are often found with type 1 diabetes but not with type 2. You may have your urine tested for ketones too. Ketones are produced when your body burns fat for energy. Having ketones in your urine indicates you have type 1 diabetes instead of type 2.