Making A Commitment To Self
While the prognosis seemed grim, Ray and his parents were determined to do all they could to beat the odds. Following doctors orders, they regulated Rays food intake, carefully measuring out portions to the gram.
Insulin injections three times daily became part of his normal routine. His mother was constantly boiling the glass syringes with steel needles to keep them sterile.
While exercise can improve insulin sensitivity and overall heart health, thereby benefiting people with diabetes, those with type 1 diabetes must balance their insulin and food intake so their blood sugar levels dont drop dangerously low.
When Ray was a kid, doctors advised him to avoid exercising, including playing sports.
I would sit in gym class and watch the kids play, and I would think, I can do that, he says. Kids were on the swings and playing tag, and I wasnt allowed to do any of that. It was frustrating.
Occasionally, he and his dad would sneak into the yard and play catch, but if he missed the ball, his dad would yell, Son, dont run after it walk!
Sports eventually became a huge part of Rays life and bolstered his physical strength and spirit. At age 11, his doctors determined he could manage diabetes and get physical activity. He joined a baseball team and showed natural athletic ability. By age 13, he was playing with boys five years older than he was.
God gave me some athletic talent, and Ive stayed active all my life, he says.
Prepare For Hospitalization Long
Because there are more people with type 2 diabetes than with T1D, hospitals and longterm facilities are predisposed to offering a simplified version of blood sugar management that may not meet all the needs of people with T1D, according to Argento.
When it comes to hospital care, every person with T1D should have a plan in place for what to do in the event of an unexpected hospital stay. That plan should include a list of medications and healthcare providers to contact, as well as a bag with extra diabetes tech supplies. People with T1D should also designate a friend or family member to advocate on their behalf. Once hospitalized, its important to communicate with every health care provider who provides treatment that you or your loved one has T1D, not Type 2, advises Argento.
When it comes to longterm elder care facilities, its best to explore the possibilities of whats available in your community before you need it, advises Downs. When you visit, ask questions specifically about policies involving blood sugar management and diabetes care.
The Factors Affecting Life Expectancy
Experts are unanimous that proper glycemic control, and the avoidance of chronic high blood sugar, is key to reducing your risk factors for early death from type 1 diabetes. Good blood sugar stability also makes sudden death from hypoglycemia or DKA less likely.
A 2020 article published in the journal Cardiovascular Endocrinology & Metabolism devised a model to estimate the impact of suboptimal blood sugar control. The model predicts that today, the average adult with type 1 diabetes can expect to lose 7.6 years of life compared to the non-diabetes population. This was a crude measure, because the authors assumed that early deaths were entirely attributable to time spent above international benchmarks for blood sugar control: We estimate that for both T1DM and T2DM, one year with HbA1c > 58mmol/mol loses around 100 life days.
While tight blood sugar control helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, we do not know if there is any level of glucose control that actually eliminates the risk of early death. And glucose control isnt everything: there are innumerable other factors to consider, all of the factors that affect lifespan in people without diabetes.
An article focusing on especially long-lived patients found that they tended to share the following features:
- Reasonable glycemic control
- High HDL-cholesterol level
- Low daily insulin requirements
- Normal body weight
- Lower blood pressure
- Family history of longevity
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Type 1 Diabetes: Prognosis And Life Expectancy
Approximately 26 in 100,000 Americans live with some form of diabetes, and recent research suggests the life expectancy of a person with may be shorter than the average persons. However, many diabetes deaths occur due to type 1 diabetes complications, like and , which often can be prevented.
The current prognosis for type 1 looks brighter than ever, with a potential cure on the horizon. While everyone waits for that, you may be able to avoid complications and live a healthy, lengthy life by following your type 1 diabetes treatment plan closely.
How Is Type 1 Diabetes Treated
Type 1 diabetes needs lifelong treatment because there is no cure yet. Doctors treat type 1 diabetes using a diabetes care plan. The care plan tells you and your child the things to do every day to help keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range.
Each childs diabetes care plan is made just for them. But all plans have the same 4 basic parts:
- take insulin
- eat a healthy, balanced diet that includes counting carbohydrates
- check blood sugar levels at least 4 times a day
- get regular physical activity
Following the diabetes care plan helps kids stay healthy, now and into the future.
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Is Type 1 Diabetes A Genetic Disease
There is a strong genetic link with type 1 diabetes. This can be tested for by looking at the human leukocyte antigen genotype. First-degree relatives are at higher risk. However, with any genetic condition, it is important to remember that gene expression changes in response to the epigenetic environment, and risk factors can be addressed with a health care professional or nutrition/functional/naturopathic practitioner knowledgeable about epigenetics.
- Prenatal exposures include maternal preeclampsia or metabolic syndrome .
- Environmental exposures include chemicals, especially those found in plastics and foods, specifically introduction of gluten, casein or fruit before 4 months of age or late introduction to grains and casein.
- Viral infections, such as Epstein-Barr virus or EBV , Coxsackie, CMV, and other infections can also be risk factors for developing type 1 diabetes.
- Living in a northern climate is a risk factor that has not been fully explained.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes can come on over time or suddenly. Sometimes, kids dont have diabetes symptoms yet and the condition is discovered when blood or urine tests are done for another reason. Kids who show symptoms may:
- need to pee a lot
- start to wet the bed after having been dry at night
- be thirstier and drink more than usual
- feel tired often
- lose weight
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What Is The Difference Between Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes
The major process that happens in type 1 diabetes is that the pancreas can no longer produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes is more a result of insulin resistance , that is, it takes a large amount of insulin to move glucose out of the blood and into the cells. Over time, people with type 2 diabetes also may experience decreased insulin production in the pancreas. In type 1 diabetes, over time, the body can also develop insulin resistance especially in people who gain a lot of weight while using insulin. This means there is some overlap in treatment and diet for people who have had diabetes of either type for a long time.
A Word From Mantracare
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How Long Can Your Body Survive Without Insulin
Naturally, people whose lives depend on taking insulin get very nervous at the thought of not having access to it. We cant help but wonder: in the worst-case scenario, just how long would we be able to hang on without it?
Conventional wisdom says the answer is roughly 3-4 days. But is that really true?
We set out to do some fact-checking.
Anyone Can Get Type 1 Diabetes
It isnt completely clear what causes type 1 diabetes, but we know that diet and lifestyle habits dont. Type 1 is thought to be the result of an autoimmune response, where your body attacks the cells in your pancreas that make insulin. Insulin is a hormone that acts like a key to let blood sugar into your bodys cells for use as energy. Sometimes infection with a virus seems to trigger the autoimmune response. Many people with type 1 diabetes have family members with type 1, but most dont.
The peak age for being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes is around 13 or 14 years, but people can be diagnosed when theyre much younger and older .
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What Happens When You Run Out Of Insulin
First, lets talk about the physical process that sets in when a person with diabetes does not get enough insulin into their body.
Basically whats doing on is this: insulin helps sugar enter the cells, which use it for fuel. Without insulin, the body cannot access enough sugar to function properly, so your liver begins to turns some of the body fat into acids called ketones. These build up in the bloodstream and spill over into the urine. When these excess ketones get into the blood, the blood becomes acidic, causing DKA: a combination of very high blood sugar, dehydration and shock, and exhaustion.
Symptoms are vomiting and hyperventilation, and eventually passing out and going into a coma. Without treatment, this leads to death.
Generally, the first signs of DKA show up once the blood glucose level has been north of 300 mg/dL for about four hours, but how quickly things get out of hand at that point is highly variable. Some people with diabetes feel ill immediately, while others can wander around in a daze for days.
If you have any residual insulin at all in your system, it can help hold off DKA even when your blood sugar level is high, according to Dr. Silvio Inzucchi, clinical director of the Yale Diabetes Center.
Hospitalizations for DKA are unfortunately on the rise in the United States.
What Causes Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is caused by an immune system attack on the pancreas that impairs insulin production. Experts are not sure why some children develop type 1 diabetes. Children whose parents or close relatives have type 1 diabetes are at greater risk of developing the disease. Being exposed to a virus may trigger type 1 diabetes in these children.
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How Is Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosed
- Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed with a blood test for blood glucose.
- If it is greater than 125 when fasting or greater than 200 randomly, a diagnosis of diabetes is made. To confirm whether it is type 1 or type 2 diabetes, blood tests are used to measure antibodies.
- Additionally, a presumptive diagnosis can be made based on glucose or ketones in the urine.
- A c-peptide test can determine how much insulin the pancreas is producing.
- Genetic testing, such as HLA subtyping, can add further understanding of the disease.
How A Diabetes Diagnosis May Actually Improve Life Quality
Many people live with diabetes for years before being diagnosed, but once they are, they can approach the condition head on. As a result of their efforts, many people may actually find their quality of life is better than it was before diagnosis.
Once they have the diagnosis and take action whether that action is just behavioral change because they didnt have diabetes for long, or behavioral changes combined with a medication regimen they feel that they have a much higher quality of life after they were diagnosed, says Rinker.
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How Did People With Type 1 Diabetes Survive Historically
We hate to break it to you, but they didnt.
Looking at historical records from pioneering diabetes doctors Joslin and Allen before the advent of medical insulin, we see that they were only able to keep patients alive for months, sometimes more than a year, by starving them to death. Literally.
Dr. Elliott Joslin proudly wrote that, Whereas formerly the prognosis for children less than 10 years of age was measured in months, today it is rare for a child to live for less than one year. Ultimately, all of Joslins pre-insulin patients died. 100 percent of them. Those who didnt starve succumbed once their insulin production dropped to zero.
But of course we now know that the onset of type 1 is a messy affair. The autoimmune process that drives it doesnt happen overnight. Insulin production lingers for many months in a phenomenon called the diabetes honeymoon.
So, history can only show us how long we can suffer starved in the honeymoon phase of the disease, not how long a full-fledged type 1 will last sans insulin in todays modern world.
DKA is the leading cause of death in people with T1D under age 24. But stats indicate that there are only several-thousand deaths from DKA per year in the whole country. Most cases occur right at disease onset, and most receive some sort of medical intervention in a timely manner. The
Can Type 1 Diabetes Be Cured
Currently, there isnt a cure for type 1 diabetes. However, what we know about the condition is constantly evolving, new technologies and medicines are being developed, and researchers are making important breakthroughs. Right now, people of all ages are leading full, healthy lives with type 1 diabetes. You can too!
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Why Having Diabetes Doesnt Necessarily Mean Youll Die Sooner
Its true that, when you consider heart-related cardiovascular complications, men and women with diabetes tend to have higher rates of early death than their peers without the disease, according to research. But its also true that no two people with diabetes are the same, and how a person manages his or her blood sugar is key when considering how the disease might affect your life span.
Having diabetes wont necessarily change someones life expectancy its how diabetes progresses. For every individual, diabetes is going to progress differently, says Joanne Rinker, RD, CDE, director of practice and content development at the American Association of Diabetes Educators. If it progresses at an extremely slow rate, because diabetes is so individualized, it might be so slow that it does not impact their life expectancy whatsoever.
Instead of thinking only about how diabetes will impact your life span, experts suggest that people with the condition should take a broader look at their overall health. Diabetes is not a singular disease that one should focus on. Focus on how you can improve the different risk factors that can impact the functioning of the heart and other organs, says Medha Munshi, MD, director of geriatric diabetes programs at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. Its important to think, What are the factors that would impact my length of life?
Is There A Type 1 Diabetes Diet
The basics of a type 1 diabetes diet include making sure carbohydrate intake is matched with insulin and choosing healthy options to maximize nutrition in each calorie. People with type 1 diabetes will find it is easiest to match carbohydrates to insulin if they follow a low-glycemic load diet, so that the impact of carbohydrates on blood sugar is slow and gradual. This also makes it easier to predict and match to required insulin.
Because weight gain can be a side effect of injecting insulin, a type 1 diabetes diet should be healthy and low in calories to help the person maintain or lose weight. Food lists of low-glycemic load options can help people learn what to include in their diet.
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What Is The Long
Over a period of many years, high glucose levels can cause damage to the eyes, kidneys, and nerves.
Lifelong insulin treatment is essential for people with type 1 diabetes. Maintaining healthy glucose levels over the long term greatly reduces your childs risk of developing diabetes complications later in life. Your diabetes team will teach you how to balance insulin, food, and exercise to maintain safe and healthy blood glucose levels.
Risk Factors For Type 1 Diabetes:
Any combination of the following factors may put people at a higher risk for type 1 diabetes:
- Self-allergy : The immune system usually protects us from disease, but in the case of type 1 diabetes, the immune system turns against the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin . If you have any type of autoimmune disease, your risk of developing diabetes increases. Doctors can test for diabetes antibodies, specifically one called GAD65. Measuring this antibody early in the disease can help your medical team determine if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
- Genes: People with type 1 diabetes are more likely to have inherited genes putting them at risk. Over 50% of those diagnosed with type 1 diabetes also have a close relative with the disease.
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