Finding Ways To Live With Type 1 Diabetes

diabetes-fullsizeBeing diagnosed with a chronic disease like diabetes is daunting, even more so when the disease affects every single activity in your life, including the pleasurable ones, such as eating a great meal, having a cocktail with your friends or going for a long hike.

Diabetes can essentially be divided into two types:

  1. Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is most often diagnosed in children or young adults and requires daily insulin injections. Type 1 diabetes is autoimmune in its origin, which means that your body destroys the very cells needed to produce the insulin we all need to survive.
  2. Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is the more common type that’s often diagnosed in older people and in those who are somewhat overweight. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 percent of individuals with diabetes and may, in some cases, be reversible if lifestyle changes are implemented.


1. Seek as much Information as possible.

Don’t hesitate to bombard your health care professionals with questions. They’ve seen many cases like yours and can guide you through your struggles and toward small victories. It is easy to become self-pitying and even narcissistic when you have a serious disease, but that does not help anyone. So search the net, read as many books as you can find in the library and book an appointment with a doctor!


2. Protect yourself from complications.

The tricky business of diabetes as an active person is that your sugar levels can wreak havoc on your body even during a single day. The roller coaster of ups and downs can cause both short-term acute situations, such as passing out due to “lows,” and long-term consequences of running “high,” which, after years of bad control, can destroy your nerves, vessels and ultimately your organs. Maintaining a balanced diet and active life with some precautions and regularity will help prevent these consequences.

3. Create a support system.

Surround yourself with people who love you, respect you and will stand up for you. It’s not a bad thing if a partner, parent or physician tells a person with a chronic disease to slow down and to give them some tough love. If you set up goals with your caregivers, friend and family, you’re more likely to succeed.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects every cell in your body and each moment of your life. While there’s never a “break” from diabetes and no cure, we can live with it by learning as much as possible about the disease, protecting ourselves from its complications, creating a great team around us and always pushing ourselves to perform better as a patient as well as a person.

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