[sugar]I am a type 1 juvenile diabetic. I eat sugar. I am not overweight. And I am not a member of the epidemic type 2 diabetes sweeping the United States.
Type 2 diabetes is a growing problem with the elderly, the youth and obese Americans. A huge assumption is type 2 diabetes is the same disease as type 1 diabetes. However, they are two separate diseases sharing only the same name.
“I know there are two types, one you’re born with and one you acquire. I think one has to do with insulin production and the other has to do with being overweight. I guess you give yourself insulin with one because your body doesn’t produce enough of it” criminal justice junior Joe Abhonen said.
Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90% of diabetes cases. The disease is called adult on-set diabetes even though children are at risk for the disease. When people say, “I am a diabetic,” this is the disease they are assumed to have.
Early stages of type 2 diabetes are insulin resistance. The cells reject or do not use insulin properly and gradually the pancreas stops producing insulin. Type 2 diabetes is associated with older age, race, obesity, and family history. Type 2 diabetes can go away over time with oral medication, a healthy diet, and exercise.
The other 10% of diabetics are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes or juvenile diabetes. This type of diabetes is the part grouped together with type 2 and ignored by the media. Type 1 diabetes is a disease that has no cure. Advancements like the Medtronic insulin pump make type 1 diabetes livable but there is no oral medication or meal plan to make the disease go away with time.
Dr. Bayer is an endocrinologist specializing in juvenile diabetes. He said diabetics using an insulin pump have the equivalent of a pancreas attached to their hip. The insulin pump siphons insulin into the body through a tube to balance blood sugar. The pump is a new technology for diabetics. Before the pump, type 1 diabetics injected themselves with a variety of insulin. Humalog or H is short acting insulin that immediately reacts and breaks down sugars in food. Ultralente insulin is long acting insulin that reacts to sugar levels over a series of hours. Diabetics not using the pump use syringes to inject insulin to manage sugar levels.
Type 1 diabetics manage blood sugar by using blood monitors. The blood monitors test the sugar levels in the blood stream. A well managed diabetic and a non diabetic will have blood sugars from 70 to 125. Poor managed diabetic numbers can range from 250-600.
[candy]When blood sugar levels fall below 70, a diabetic will feel disorientated and will not be able to control their behavior. If a diabetic does not drink a sugar substance or eat sugar like a candy bar, blood sugar lows can cause seizures and unconsciousness.
My freshman year at MSU, I had a low blood sugar reaction that caused me to have diabetic seizures in my dorm room. I lived in a quad with three people that I had met two months before. My roommates called the ambulance and I was taken to the hospital. At the hospital, an IV pumped my blood with sugar causing my blood sugar to rise above the desired blood sugar levels. After a couple of hours, blood sugars will level off with constant management after a blood sugar reaction.
When a diabetic’s blood sugar is too high, they will feel nauseous and will sometimes throw up the excess sugar in their system. When sugars are too high, a diabetic risks having excess amounts of ketones or acids in their system. Ketones are deadly and warn diabetics their blood sugar is out of control. Treatment for ketones is done in hospitals through concentrated management of blood sugars and diets.
Once a person is diagnosed with diabetes, they are diagnosed with numerous risk factors. When a non diabetic cuts their foot, a Band Aid and some Neosporin will fix the cut and prevent a scar. When a diabetic cuts their foot, the cut is also plastered with Neosporin but the cut must be monitored because if a diabetic’s foot becomes infected, amputation is not uncommon. Getting older and losing eyesight is not uncommon for healthy, fit people. However, a 13 year old girl with high blood sugar can go blind. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness and can cause cataracts and glaucoma.
When a person is diagnosed with diabetes, they are hospitalized and given an astronomical amount of books and pamphlets pertaining to diet and managing blood sugar. The person is not informed of the sexual side effects of diabetes. Many men with diabetes develop erectile dysfunctions as a result of high blood sugar damaging the vessels that supply the penis with blood.
A big assumption is diabetes is something a person “lives with.” However, many people die from diabetes. High blood sugar and lack of insulin in the system affects a diabetic’s limbs and ability to heal from a paper cut.
Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are both serious diseases. Unlike other diseases, diabetes is something that the patient can manage and take care of. Daily decisions about food, exercise, and social choices like smoking can terminally affect a diabetic’s lifespan. Diabetes is a single battle waged against being too lazy to take insulin, too busy to test blood sugar levels 4-6 times a day, and too ignorant to understand the risks that accessorize diabetes. So, the next time you see a person walking down the street with what looks like a beeper or pager in their pocket, take a second to realize that the person might actually be fighting the battle of their life.

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