Type 1 diabetes is a disease in which the body’s immune system destroys the pancreas’ insulin-producing cells. We refer to them as beta cells. However, how is type 1 diabetes treated?
A treatment plan, also known as a diabetes management plan, helps persons with diabetes control their condition and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Each person’s plan is unique and takes into account both their own health requirements as well as those of their diabetic care team.
Let’s dive deep into our main topic, type 1 diabetes!
Table of contents
- Diabetes Type 1: What Is It?
- Basics of Diabetes Management
- Diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes
- What Happened After the Diagnosis?
- Type 1 Diabetes Treatments
- TYPE 1 Diabetes Care During Covid-19
- Bottom Line
Estimated reading time: 12 minutes
Diabetes Type 1: What Is It?
In patients with type 1 diabetes, the pancreas cannot produce insulin. It’s a hormone necessary for transforming sugar into energy in the body. This is the defining characteristic of type 1 diabetes.
Blood sugar can build up and cause harm to your heart, kidneys; eyes; nervous system; and other organs if you don’t have insulin. Over time, this can lead to catastrophic or even fatal consequences.
Type 1 diabetes does not result from a person’s diet or lifestyle. It considers an autoimmune disease when the immune system assaults and kills healthy pancreatic cells by mistake.
Both children and adults are at risk for developing type 1 diabetes. However, it’s more frequent in the younger demographic.
Do we have a remedy in sight? Using insulin injections or an insulin pump, people with diabetes may now keep their blood glucose levels under control.
Basics of Diabetes Management
Getting a grip on your glucose levels is the first step in treating diabetes. All our food contains sugar, and our bodies also produce and store glucose, a kind of sugar.
When it comes to type 1 diabetes, how are blood glucose levels related to the disease? Type 1 diabetics lack insulin. As glucose doesn’t enter cells, blood glucose levels increase.
Blood sugar levels must be within acceptable limits to prevent hypoglycemia and ensure proper growth and development in patients with type 1 diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes must perform the following:
- Follow the directions on the insulin vial.
- Keep your carbohydrate intake in check by eating a well-balanced diet.
- Keep an eye on your blood sugar levels and follow the directions provided.
- Be sure you obtain a good amount of exercise on a daily basis.
Treatment cannot reverse the effects of diabetes. However, therapy can help a person live a healthier life while managing their diabetes.
Those with type 1 diabetes will need to be on medication for the remainder of their life because there is no treatment or cure for diabetes. However, persons with diabetes can avoid future complications by adhering to the recommended diet and exercise regimen.
Diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes
Among the diagnostic procedures are:
1. Hemoglobin A1C test:
The average blood sugar level over the last two to three months is seen in this blood test. The oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells ties to a certain amount of blood sugar. It measures by this test.(hemoglobin).
People with high blood sugar levels will have more sugar-coated hemoglobin in their bloodstream. Diabetes happens if the A1C level is 6.5 percent or greater on two tests.
Pregnancy or a rare kind of hemoglobin (hemoglobin variation) may prevent your doctor from doing the A1C test; instead, they may perform these tests:
2. A random check of blood sugar levels:
A blood sample obtains randomly; further tests may validate the results if necessary. We count Blood sugar in mg/dL and mmol/L.
A blood sugar level of 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) or greater, regardless of when you last ate, indicates diabetes, especially when accompanied by any of the symptoms of diabetes, such as excessive thirst and frequent urination.
3. Fasting blood sugar test:
Before undergoing blood tests, the patient will expect to abstain from food for at least one night. The standard spectrum for fasting blood sugar is under 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L). Prediabetes is fasting blood sugar levels ranging from 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L).
In two independent tests, you have diabetes if your blood sugar levels test at or above 126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L).
Blood tests can help determine whether or not you have autoantibodies. It is common in type 1 diabetes and can indicate whether or not you have the condition.
Using these tests, your doctor can tell if you have type 1 diabetes or not. Type 1 diabetes is more likely if you have ketones in your urine, which results from fat metabolism.
What Happened After the Diagnosis?
During these checkups, your medical professional will determine the current level of A1C in your blood. During these appointments, your A1C levels will be measured. The American Diabetes Association advises that A1C values be below 7%, which amounts to an estimated average glucose level of 154 mg/dL (8.5 mmol/L) for adults.
Tests for hemoglobin A1C provide a more accurate picture of your diabetes treatment plan’s effectiveness than the daily blood sugar readings. If your A1C is higher than usual, you may need to alter your insulin dosage, diet, or both.
Blood and urine samples will also be taken to monitor your cholesterol levels, thyroid function, liver function, and kidney functions. Besides checking your blood pressure and insulin injection sites, the doctor will also examine your body.
Type 1 Diabetes Treatments
Type 1 diabetics must take insulin. Because their body can’t generate insulin, they must take the proper amount.
Only a needle or an insulin pump can use to give insulin to a patient. Taking insulin as a tablet wouldn’t work since stomach acids, and digestive fluids would break it down.
Insulin has several uses. Types of insulin and the number of daily doses depend on you and your schedule.
As you develop, your insulin needs may alter. Smaller needles make insulin shots practically painless. Insulin pumps reduce the number of shots needed.
However, your diabetic team will educate you on how to self-administer insulin.
People with type 1 diabetes must watch their meals and snacks more than others. They must consume a healthy, balanced diet and watch when they eat.
They must balance diet, insulin, and exercise. Blood sugar rises depending on the food’s nutrients.
Carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids provide calories from dietary energy. Carbohydrate-rich foods raise blood sugar highest. Protein- and fat-rich foods lower blood sugar. All of these nutrients are necessary for regular body function.
The diabetic meal plan won’t tell you what to eat, but it will help you eat healthy balanced meals. Each meal and snack works with your insulin type and dose.
Your meal plan is based on your age, exercise level, schedule, and food preferences. Flexible so you can manage diabetes at parties and holidays.
The plan may also include restricting high-fat, high-calorie, vitamin- and mineral-free meals. Every healthy eater should restrict these meals since too much can contribute to weight gain or long-term health issues, including heart disease.
Check Blood Sugar Levels:
Diabetes therapy includes checking blood sugar. It shows how effectively your insulin and diet are functioning.
By controlling your blood sugar, you’ll feel better and minimize your chance of diabetes. Diabetes management can only be gauged by testing blood sugar.
Your diabetic team may propose a CGM (CGM). Sensors last a week and are precise enough to replace finger-stick testing.
More frequent CGM blood sugar measurements can help you and your care team control blood sugar.
A glucose meter or CGM displays your blood sugar level. Here are some popular blood glucose test meters available on Amazon:
Diabetes therapy includes exercise. Regular exercise lowers blood sugar. It can minimize the risk of diabetes-related health concerns, including heart disease.
Walking the dog, riding a bike, and playing team sports are all wonderful for type 1 diabetics. Daily exercise is best.
Your diabetes care team can help you plan to exercise, meals, and insulin. They’ll provide you with written instructions on how to respond to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) during exercise (high blood sugar).
Other Type 1 Diabetes Medicines:
People with type 1 diabetes may also be prescribed other drugs, such as:
1. Medications for high blood pressure:
Your doctor may give angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE) or angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARB) to protect your kidneys. People with diabetes with blood pressure readings of more than 140/90 millimeters of mercury may benefit from taking one of these drugs.
Your doctor will suggest this after discussing your bleeding risk.
3. Medications to Decrease Cholesterol:
Type 1 diabetics have stricter cholesterol requirements due to higher heart disease risk. According to the American Diabetes Association, “bad” cholesterol should be no more than 100 mg/dL (2.62 mmol/L) or less.
For women, an HDL (or “good”) cholesterol level of at least 50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) and a male HDL cholesterol level of at least 40 mg/dL (1 mmol/L) is advised. A triglyceride level of fewer than 150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L) is considered optimal.
Blood Sugar Monitoring
Due to the type of insulin therapy you choose or are required to have, you may be required to check and record the amount of sugar in your blood at least four times daily.
The ADA suggests measuring blood sugar before eating, before night, before physical exercise or driving, and if you suspect low blood sugar.
To keep your blood sugar within your goal range, you must check carefully, and more regular monitoring can help reduce your A1C.
Unpredictable blood sugar levels can still occur, even if you take insulin and eat according to a strict schedule. For the first time, you’ll learn about how your blood sugar level fluctuates in reaction to anything from food to activity to sickness, medicine to stress, hormonal changes, and alcohol.
Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) is a relatively recent method of monitoring blood sugar levels to avoid hypoglycemia. A decreased A1C has been seen using the devices.
A little needle is inserted into the skin just below the surface of the skin to monitor blood glucose levels. Currently, CGM is not as reliable as traditional blood sugar monitoring. Therefore it’s critical to double-check your numbers every few days.
TYPE 1 Diabetes Care During Covid-19
“Coronavirus disease 2019” is COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes it. As of late 2019, the virus has already spread across the globe.
People in many localities were advised to stay home as much as possible during the epidemic’s early stages when the virus was spreading rapidly.
People with preexisting medical disorders, such as diabetes type-1, have a higher risk of severe disease from taking COVID-19.
Diabetic ketoacidosis can result from COVID-19 infection and other severe consequences of diabetes (DKA). For further information, see “Infections” below.)
Any adjustments to your routine medical appointments can be discussed with your health care provider if you reside in an area where COVID-19 is still prevalent. If it’s at all possible, try to cut down on the amount of in-person appointments you have to keep.
In addition to where you reside, the virus’s propagation in your area, your blood sugar management, the drugs you take, and your overall health, these factors play a role.
Taking care of one’s diabetes might be challenging at times. There is help at hand in the form of your diabetes care team. You should be able to refer to your diabetes management plan at any time since it should be easy to comprehend, thorough, and written down for you.
Various complementary and alternative diabetes treatment options are available, including herbal medicines and dietary supplements. People who don’t adhere to their doctor’s prescribed treatment plan might be at risk from these practices. So go to your diabetes care team to learn the facts.
However, this is all about how is type 1 diabetes treated. Take care of your health, and stay safe.