Living a Normal Life with Type 1 Diabetes
Living with Type 1 diabetes can be challenging, but a Type 1 diagnosis is no longer a death sentence. Type 1 diabetics’ pancreases can no longer produce insulin, the hormone needed to break down glucose into fuel and energy. With a little work, Type 1 diabetics can easily manage their diabetes with the four pillars of insulin, nutrition, exercise, and communication.
Diabetics need a constant supply of insulin throughout the day, either from insulin pumps or injections. Many doctors will start you out at a base rate and adjust injections accordingly. Measuring your blood glucose levels throughout the day will help you understand how glucose and insulin interact in your body.
Not all foods affect glucose levels the same way. Carbohydrate-rich foods will raise blood sugar much faster than other foods. Diabetics should stick to low-carb, high-fiber and high-protein meals. There are many aids available to help you develop a healthy diabetic meal plan to control your diabetes. Check out some of our delicious recipes here!
Along with many other health benefits, exercise helps stabilize blood sugar levels as your body burns glucose for fuel. Getting your body moving for at least 30 minutes a day has a great effect on your mood and your health. Be sure to monitor glucose levels before and after exercising so that you can adjust your insulin intake appropriately.
Communication is the key component of diabetes management. Talk with your health care team about using diet and exercise to develop a healthy lifestyle. Seek out other Type 1 diabetics and diabetic support groups who will understand what you're going through. Talk to you family, friends, and coworkers about your disease and what it means. The more they know, the more supportive they’ll be.
Don’t Give Up!
A diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes can seem like an uphill battle. But with the proper management techniques, your disease won’t stop you from living your life. Many diabetics compete in athletics, rise to the top in the boardroom, and raise happy and healthy families. Stick to these principles of diabetes management and you’ll find that you can still do everything you dreamed of doing!