What is Type 1 Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes mellitus is an auto-immune disorder. In this metabolic disorder, the immune system gets activated and destroys the beta cells in the pancreas which produce insulin. It leads to absolute insulin deficiency in the body. Various genetic and environmental factors can cause the progressive loss of beta cell mass. Though the cause of this auto-immune reaction is not much known, yet it has been found that type 1 diabetes is not much associated with modifiable lifestyle factors. With certain lifestyle modification, you cannot actually prevent type 1 diabetes, but you can at least manage this disorder for a better living.
Type 1 diabetes is usually seen in children and teenagers. Earlier it was known as juvenile diabetes. Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of diabetes mellitus.
In individuals with type 1 diabetes, the hormone insulin is not produced in the body. The carbohydrates consumed by the person are broken down into a simple sugar called glucose which is used for energy. Insulin helps the body reach the glucose into the cells of the body from the bloodstream. With almost no insulin being secreted by the pancreas, the individuals have to take intravenous insulin to control the loss of sugar from the blood. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, type 1 diabetes can be managed for a healthy living.
What are 10 Easiest Ways To Manage Type 1 Diabetes?
Let’s read about the ten ways which have been discussed among diabetes experts and recommended by American Diabetes Association (ADA) in their latest guidelines. When you know that you cannot control diabetes from happening to you, you have to control diabetes from damaging you. You need to work upon as recommended by your healthcare expert.
– Say Yes for Screening:
Testing for diabetes should be considered in overweight or obese (BMI more than 25 kg/m2 or more than 23 kg/m2 in Asian Americans) people who have one or more of the risk factors, viz.,
- A1C ≥ 5.7% (39 mmol/mol), IGT, or IFG on previous testing
- Having the first-degree relative with diabetes
- Belonging to high-risk race/ethnicity (e.g., African American, Latino, Native American, Asian American, Pacific Islander)
– Refer Testing For Relatives:
Although there is a lack of accepted screening programs in current times, one should refer relatives of individuals with type 1 diabetes for antibody testing for risk assessment in the setting of a clinical research study. Persistence of two or more autoantibodies predicts clinical diabetes. This is indicative of the intervention in the setting of a clinical trial. Rather than A1C, plasma blood glucose should be used by the clinicians for diagnosis of acute onset of type 1 diabetes in individuals showing symptoms of hyperglycemia. This may help to find out the blood sugar status in people who are likely to get diabetes.
– Bend Upon Continuous Glucose Monitoring:
Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), in conjunction with intensive insulin regimens, is a useful tool to check blood glucose levels in selected adults (aged ≥25 years) with type 1 diabetes. It has been helpful for those who are not aware of hypoglycemia or frequent having hypoglycemic episodes. Continuous glucose monitoring helps you attain your target glucose levels with proper diet and medication.
– Robust Diabetes Education:
When prescribing CGM, it is essential that you are provided with serious diabetes education, training, and support for optimal CGM implementation and ongoing use by your doctor. Continuous glucose monitoring measures interstitial glucose (which is correlated with plasma glucose) and includes sophisticated alarms to indicate the user his hypoglycemic and hyperglycemic conditions. Continuous glucose monitors require regular calibration with SMBG (Self Monitoring Blood Glucose).
– Intake of Insulin:
Insulin is the basis of therapy for type 1 diabetes. Higher insulin doses are often required during puberty. A typical total daily starting dose for metabolically stable patients is 0.5 units/kg. Higher weight-based starting doses are meant for patients who have diabetic ketoacidosis. However, the initial total daily dose is typically weight-based which ranges from 0.4 to 1.0 units/kg of body weight.
– Nutrition Under Supervision:
According to latest ADA (American Diabetes Association) guidelines, all individuals with diabetes should receive individualized medical nutrition therapy (or MNT) provided by a registered nutritionist or dietitian who is skilled in giving diabetes-specific diet plan. It has been seen that MNT provided by a registered dietitian is associated with the decrease in Hemoglobin A1C by 0.3–1% for individuals with type 1 diabetes.
– Get a Proper Diet Plan:
According to ADA recommendation (2017), we do not have any single ideal dietary distribution of calories among carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Therefore, for the individuals with diabetes, macronutrient distribution is individualized keeping in mind the total calorie content in food and their metabolic goals.
– Begin Weight Management:
For the overweight and obese people with type 1 diabetes, body weight management is important for controlling their blood sugar level. Intensive lifestyle intervention programs with frequent follow-ups have gone a long way in managing diabetes. This has helped to achieve significant reductions in excess body weight and improve the diabetic condition. Most adults with type 1 and should engage in 150 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity per week, breaking it at least 3 days per week. That means no more than 2 consecutive days without activity. Adults with type 1 diabetes should start resistance exercise, 2-3 sessions per week on nonconsecutive days. Children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes or prediabetes should do physical activities in 60 minutes per day or more of moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, and bone-strengthening exercises at least 3 days per week.
– Avoid Sugar-Sweetened Foods:
People with diabetes and those at risk should indulge in having sugar-sweetened beverages to keep their weight under control. This reduces their risk of cardiovascular diseases and fatty liver. The individuals with diabetes or prediabetes must lower the consumption of foods with added sugar.
– Limit Consumption of Alcohol:
Alcohol consumption brings diabetic individuals at higher risk of hypoglycemia, especially if they are taking insulin or insulin secretagogues. Adults with diabetes mellitus, who drink alcohol, are advised to do so in moderation. It is recommended that adult women must restrict to not more than one drink per day and adult men with diabetes must not have more than two drinks per day. They must be aware of the hypoglycemic condition of their body and its management, in case if it is required.
What do we Judge?
Type 1 diabetes may take its toll if not taken care at the right time. The identification of individualized therapies for diabetes in the future will require better characterization of the many pathways that lead to beta cell dysfunction. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented but it can be managed with a handful of important things- diet, exercise, continuous blood glucose monitoring and insulin therapy.
Besides, patients should be educated about times when they may be at increased risk for hypoglycemia, such as while fasting for tests, due to delayed meals, during or after exercise, and even during sleep. Hypoglycemia episodes may be too dangerous while one is driving a vehicle; some patients may benefit from having a glucose meter and rapid-acting glucose treatment in the car if needed. You must know your health status and how your diabetes can be managed. You must follow the advice of your clinician or healthcare expert to avoid any fatal situation.