Here are 10 interesting facts about type 1 diabetes!
1. We can make around 180 health decisions every single day
This is a rough calculation, but people with t1d have to make a decision about everything!
Every activity requires us to make a decision on how to keep our levels balanced.
Put that into perspective – before eating, sleeping, training, going to work and so on, you have to consider diabetes first.
2. Diet is not the only thing that impacts sugar levels
Everything impacts sugar levels! Diet, activity level, hormones, sleep, emotions and so on.
Treating diabetes is not as simple as just injecting some insulin and getting on with it. Every dose of insulin has to be calculated carefully depending on that specific situation.
3. Burnout is very real
The fact that you never truly get a break from managing t1d makes mental and physical burnout very real.
Everyone living with diabetes will feel burnout, whether they are tired from low or high sugars, worrying about long term complications, or even just need some extra sleep.
If you know someone living with diabetes and they appear to be burnt out, offer them some help. Whether you can grab a snack for them, listen to their worries or help them access medication! – it can be very hard at times, so however you could help would be greatly appreciated.
4. People living with type 1 CAN eat chocolate!
Yes, we CAN eat chocolate, cake, sweets and everything similar.
If people living with diabetes fancy a treat, we will use our insulin ratio and experience to figure out how much insulin we need.
The other important time we might need a sweet treat is during a hypo! So yes people living with diabetes absolutely can eat everything, with the correct planning!
5. Insulin therapy is not a cure for t1d
Insulin therapy is simply the best way to manage diabetes.
A ‘cure’ would be a treatment that gives individuals back the ability to produce insulin and to regulate sugar levels.
Unfortunately we currently do not have a cure, but researchers are working daily to help us!
6. T1d does not always start from early childhood
Interestingly, research shows that there are 2 age brackets where type 1 diabetes is most commonly diagnosed.
- Between 4-7 years
- Between 10-14 years
Despite this, being diagnosed in later teenage years and even at any age is still possible.
T1d is widely known as the diabetes ‘people get from birth’, but developing it is much more common in the above age brackets!
7. We don’t know what triggers t1d
What we do know is type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition. This means our own antibodies destroy the insulin producing cells in the pancreas.
There are some theories as to why our own antibodies might start to attack our own cells, but it is an incredibly complex system. Hundreds, even thousands of factors may contribute to the onset of type 1 diabetes.
8. Access to medication can be hard
Certain countries charge hundreds to access insulin and glucose monitoring systems. This can be catastrophic, resulting in individuals rationing insulin because they cannot afford it. This leads to many complications of diabetes, and even death.
This disease can be completely managed with the correct support, so you can only imagine the anxiety individuals feel across the world.
Even with the NHS in the UK, access can still be hard. This is due to budgeting issues and type 1’s often only getting a select amount of medication a month.
Don’t get me wrong, we are incredibly lucky to have the healthcare system, but global access to technology and medication has a very long way to go.
9. Diabetes tech is coming on leaps and bounds!
On the positive side, diabetes tech has come such a long way in the last 5 years.
With insulin pumps, FGM’s and CGM’s helping to provide more efficient glucose monitoring and diabetes control.
For people reading this who are currently using the Freestyle Libre 2 (I know, it has been life changing!) Abbott have the Freestyle Libre 3 launching in the coming months (which has even more advanced tech!) – It is smaller than series 1 and 2, and supposedly works more like a CGM, automatically sending updates to your phone.
Exciting times! 🙂
10. Everyone living with t1d across the globe are warriors!
Living with something that impacts your every move on a daily basis is something that should be looked up to. It should be appreciated and more widely understood.
To everyone reading who is living with type 1, keep going. I am proud of everything you have accomplished! I am only an email away if you ever need anything!
Thank you for reading 10 facts about type 1 diabetes, I hope you found it interesting! Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!
If you liked this post, be sure to check out Myths vs truths about diabetes! and Confused about ‘types’ of diabetes? Here is your diabetes 101