Managing Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes usually presents itself during early childhood or adolescence, earning it the moniker of juvenile diabetes. What makes it different than type 2 diabetes is that with type 1, the pancreas stops producing insulin altogether. There is no cure for this disease, but you can manage type 1 diabetes through a regimen of healthy eating, physical exercise and medication.

Diet

If you are a type 1 diabetic, you should eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Carbohydrates have the biggest impact on blood glucose levels, but swapping whole grains for white flour will help keep them stable. People with diabetes are also prone to heart disease, so monitor your fat intake closely.

Type 1 diabetics should never skip a meal; in fact, they should smaller, more frequent meals than the average person. If you skip a meal but continue to take your normal dose of insulin, you can become hypoglycemic, which can quickly turn into a medical emergency. You should always keep a supply of glucose tablets, regular soda or hard candies available to raise your blood glucose levels should hypoglycemia set in, or simply opt for a meal replacement bar or shake instead of skipping meals. There are a few companies, like Medifast, that make meal replacements that are suitable for diabetics. They can get expensive, but you should be able to find Medifast coupons online to keep the costs down.

Exercise

Staying physically active is an integral part of type 1 diabetes management. Exercise helps to use up the body’s supply of blood glucose naturally, thereby keeping blood glucose levels in check. There are a few things you need to keep in mind, however. Never exercise on an empty stomach. If you do not have a sufficient level of blood glucose, you may become hypoglycemic.

Plan on eating or drinking something with carbohydrates after you finish exercise, particularly if the exercise is especially strenuous or prolonged, such as a soccer practice or game. As soon as you stop the physical activity, your blood glucose levels will rise and then fall sharply, and you need to be able to consume something to counteract that dip in the levels.

Medication

Insulin is not an option. Take all medications exactly as your doctor has prescribed, or you risk a serious medical implications. Store your insulin properly. Unless you are using a pen delivery system, you need to refrigerate your insulin when not using it so that it does not lose its efficacy.

Type 1 diabetes is a very serious disease, but it is completely manageable. If you eat a balanced diet, take your insulin and keep physically active, you should lead a long healthy life.