On Nutrition: Facts about type 1 diabetes

Published: November 21, 2020

Last week’s column contained an important fact: “A person with type 1 diabetes must take insulin several times a day to stay alive.”

Those who live with this disease know this all too well. Here are some other FACTS about type 1 diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes is sometimes called “insulin-dependent” diabetes. It is also referred to as “juvenile-onset diabetes” although it can strike adults as well as children.

Unlike type 2 diabetes that is strongly related to being overweight, people with type 1 diabetes tend to be normal weight.

While type 2 diabetes tends to develop slowly and can often be prevented, type 1 diabetes often occurs suddenly (especially in children).

According to the American Diabetes Association, about 5 to 10 percent of people with diabetes have type 1.

Type 1 diabetes is an “autoimmune” disorder in which the body’s own defense mechanism attacks and destroys cells in the pancreas that produce insulin — -the hormone that moves body fuel (glucose) from the blood into cells for energy. People with type 1 diabetes require several doses of insulin every day, especially around meal times.

To prevent serious problems, people with type 1 diabetes need to check the amount of sugar (glucose) in their blood throughout each day. Blood glucose that gets too low is life-threatening. Blood glucose that gets too high damages the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart.

To keep blood glucose levels within a normal range, a person with type 1 diabetes must carefully balance food and exercise with the right amount of insulin — 24/7.

Foods with the greatest effect on blood glucose levels are carbohydrates — sugars and starches such as sweetened foods and beverages, fruit, breads, cereals, rice, pasta, milk and yogurt.

Many people with type 1 diabetes wear a pump device that helps give them the right amount of insulin for the amount of food they eat during the day.

A person with type 1 diabetes is not “a diabetic.” He or she is a person with diabetes.

There is no cure for type 1 diabetes — yet. But advancing research continues to give us hope for a cure.

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(Barbara Quinn is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. Email her at bquinn@chomp.org.)

Article source: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/health/2016817417_nutrition22.html

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Published November 21, 2020 by in news

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