Every year at the end of July I think back to 1991 and what I was feeling before I was officially diagnosed with Type One. So, today is my public service announcement. I wish everyone knew the signs of high blood sugar! Do your part to please share them, know them and be aware of them! Type One Diabetes is diagnosed in children as young as 2 months and even adults can be diagnosed, but usually it is kids or teenagers. It is not hereditary! There is nothing you can do to avoid having Type One/ Insulin Dependent Diabetes. So many people confuse Type One and Type Two Diabetes. Please don’t be one of them! If your pancreas is not making enough insulin to keep your blood sugars at a normal level, you have Type One. If you have health problems or weight issues and a chance to lower your blood sugar with exercise and diet and it works, you have Type Two.
There is nothing like seeing a 2-year-old with an insulin pump and a pump tube (that take the insulin from the pump into the body) taller than he is to KNOW we must continue working towards a cure! There are stories every week of children whose lives are taken much too early simply because their blood sugar went too low or too high at the worst time possible. When a child is diagnosed, their blood sugar could be anywhere from 200-500, or higher. As a normal person with a working pancreas, your blood sugar is always between 80 and 130 no matter if you just consumed a bottle of water or a strawberry shake. The goal of someone with Type One is to maintain the most normal blood sugars, without going too low or too high. Ahh, it sounds so easy!
Warning signs of Insulin Dependent Diabetes* includes, but is not limited to: Excessive thirst, frequent urination, exhaustion, inability to regulate body temperature, odor in breath, unexplained weight loss, blurred vision. A simple blood test can tell you what your blood glucose/blood sugar is at this exact moment and an A1C test will tell you what your average blood sugar has been during the past three months.
*For more complete information and all medical references, please visit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation website
As we approach my Type One Anniversary date I look forward to sharing more of my story. Until then, here’s to all those newly diagnosed patients and parents and their worries and fears. Here’s to all those who are living happy, healthy lives thanks to insulin! Here’s to you and the life you might be able to save knowing the warning signs!