Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Diabetes broken down

What a frustrating disease I have. 
I can't stand being a type 1 diabetic.  It's an inconvenient and painful chronic disease that I may never see a cure for in my lifetime.
I'm inspired by children and adults alike who have type 1 diabetes and have to live with the stupid questions and comments by people who don't know what they are talking about.
"So, I guess you'll have to lose weight to get rid of your diabetes."
THAT IS the MOST frustrating thing I've heard, throughout all my years as a type 1 diabetic.  Let's break it down a little for people who think they know it all about diabetes.
This is taken from the web and I will explain my own situation afterwards

Type I Classification

  • The majority of individuals with Type I diabetes develop the disease as children. Diabetes develops because the lost beta cells in the Islets of Langerhans within the pancreas prohibit insulin production. Individuals with Type I diabetes must be on the lookout for skin disorders, nerve damage in the feet, eye care and maintain good dental health.
I am a type 1 diabetic.  I wasn't diagnosed though as a child.  I was 19 when the doctors think I started to show symptoms and at age 20 I was diagnosed.  I was also about 2 months pregnant when I was initially diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. 
"But, Sylvia.  Isn't that what they call gestational diabetes?"
Yes and no.
Being that I was pregnant, it technically was gestational diabetes.  But, since I actually had it before I got pregnant, it's type 1.  It doesn't even matter anyhow.  My type 1 diabetes was still there after I gave birth to my daughter.  And I was given a C-peptide test to confirm this diagnosis.
A C peptide test is explained below.
C-peptide is used to monitor insulin production and to help determine the cause of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). The test is not ordered to help diagnose diabetes, but when a person has been newly diagnosed with diabetes, it may be ordered by itself or along with an insulin level to help determine how much insulin a person's pancreas is still producing.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune process that often starts in early childhood and involves the almost complete destruction of the beta cells over time. Eventually, little or no insulin is produced, leading to a complete dependence on exogenous insulin.

So, my body no longer produces any insulin.  At all.  In order to live, I have to inject myself 6 times a day with insulin, both fast acting and long lasting.  If I didn't have insulin injections, my body would start to die, and therefore, so would I.

Type II Prevention/Solution

  • Type II diabetes develops from insulin resistance. Insulin sensitivity can be restored with modest weight loss; as little as 10 to 15 lbs. can make a difference. Over 90 percent of individuals who lose weight and keep it off do it through a combination of diet and exercise. Until insulin sensitivity is restored, individuals with Type II diabetes may have to take insulin injections.

Type 2 diabetics are the ones who's body still produces some insulin.  Now, don't get me wrong, both types are bad.  I'm not saying I'd rather have type 2.  If I had it my way, I'd not have any disease and be working every day to contribute something to society.  But, the fact is, I'm a type 1 diabetic. 

Another thing people say that gets on my nerves is this
"You can get rid of yours, can't you?  I have a relative that got rid of their diabetes."
People!  Get a hold of your tongues! 
No, I cannot get rid of my diabetes.  And it's so frustrating to hear that!
Another thing that bothers me is when a type 2 diabetic compares themselves to me.  They talk as if we're the same.  We're not.  Not even close.
As a type 2, they can (and should want to) get rid of their disease.  They could shed some weight, eat better and eventually lose their insulin resistance and say goodbye to diabetes. 
As a type 1, no matter what I eat, no matter how much weight I lose, no matter how good or bad I feel, I will NEVER get rid of my diabetes.  NEVER.  Unless a cure is found, I will be injecting myself daily and checking my blood glucose several times a day...
A few days ago, I had a migraine.  It was a horrible day.  I woke up with a blood sugar of 166 (not bad) but since I had a migraine and was unable eat anything, I did not give myself an injection of insulin.  I simply took some medicine for my migraine, grabbed an ice pack and went back to bed. 
I woke back up, still had a migraine, but wanted to check my blood sugar.  This was around 12ish.  I had a reading of 244.  That's pretty high.  But, still, since I had a really awful migraine, couldn't eat.  I also didn't give myself an injection of insulin.  I popped another migraine pill and tried to sleep my horrible head pain away.  At 3 pm, I woke up feeling "not right".  I rolled out of bed, and realized that I may have extremely low blood sugar.  (FYI, sometimes I feel a low, other times I can't)
So, I checked my blood sugar and it was an extremely low 36.  John, who happened to be home (thank God) made me something to eat and I was able to raise my glucose to a better number. 
So, um... yeah... I wish people would just stop and think before they opened up their mouths about diabetes.  I too was stupid before I was diagnosed.  I just didn't know what I was talking about.  But, in the same respect, being that I was ignorant, I usually kept my mouth shut when someone would talk about their diabetes. 
There's one constant though, from back then to now:
There's no shortage of stupid in this world.  And that itself is frustrating...

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