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Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes by Jacqueline Rohrer

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Many people confuse type 1 diabetes with the more common type 2 diabetes. The significant difference between the two is that while type 2 is more predictable, there is no prevention, screening, or specifically known cause for type 1 “Juvenile” diabetes. Both have direct relationships to the pancreas, which is an insulin-secreting organ dorsal to the stomach. type 1 requires a constant need for insulin injections, while type 2 diabetics can usually be treated with the simplicity of diet and exercise. I know firsthand the struggles of the type 1 diabetic life as I was diagnosed at age eleven. Juvenile diabetics are typically diagnosed before the age of twenty. For the past ten years, I have learned all the ups and downs of juvenile diabetes dealing with the beginning symptoms, and complications of the disease, and how to get the best control of a tedious condition.

Symptoms for a pre-diabetic are fairly universal. If diabetes has yet to be diagnosed, the expected signs for this disease can involve dehydration, nausea accompanied by lack of appetite, constant fatigue, blurred sight despite having 20/20 vision, and frequent need to urinate. Weight loss is another common symptom due to hyperglycemia, or high blood glucose, associated with a lack of insulin production. The body automatically recognizes high sugar levels and will respond with nausea to prevent the desire to consume food, thus avoiding increased blood sugar levels. When the body has a fully working pancreas, its blood glucose readings should range from 70 milligrams per deciliter to 120 mg/dl. An undiagnosed type 1 diabetic could have glucose readings ranging from 200 mg/dl to an astonishing 800 mg/dl or more. Although these numbers may be meaningless to any non-diabetic, the significance of insulin production of the pancreas and high or low blood sugars will prove to be extremely important.

It is vital for a diabetic to take insulin injections accordingly to ensure that the sugars are used properly rather than causing strain on the body. Insulin removes digested sugars from the bloodstream into the body’s cells to use for energy. When any diabetic’s glucose levels are poorly controlled on a recurring basis, life-threatening consequences can occur. The most common complications associated with uncontrolled glucose levels include foot ulcers and infections, uncontrollable blood pressure and cholesterol, nerve damage that can lead to amputation, kidney damage, a weaker immune system, eye problems such as sensitivity to light, blurred vision, and even blindness, along with numerous other negative responses. This said diabetes acts as a bridge to a whole world of other diseases. However, even those with decent control can see negative outcomes simply from having the condition.

Although there is no cure for diabetes, there are multiple treatments that can help aid the control of a diabetic’s health. By testing their levels regularly, eating healthy foods, exercising, and keeping up with their insulin injections, a type 1 diabetic can live a healthy life. Many diabetics lose control of their blood sugars simply because they do not have the time, energy, or desire to keep up with their glucose levels. While diabetes may not seem like a strenuous condition, it takes much more work than many diabetics choose to keep up with. The most accurate way to ensure that blood sugars have been stable is to take a Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c) test. This test averages out the daily blood sugars within the most recent three months of the test. While a non-diabetic’s results would be less than 5.7%, a type 1 diabetic’s goal should range from 6.5-7%. By taking this test, a diabetic can determine whether he or she needs to make adjustments to their eating schedule or insulin injections. Diabetes needs continuous attention, but with proper precautions, it can be a very manageable disease.


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