Navigating Life as a Newly Diagnosed Type 1

Navigating Life as a Newly Diagnosed Type 1

Dated : 15 Oct 2023

Navigating the Journey: A guide for people newly diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes

Receiving a diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) can be overwhelming, but you're not alone. Millions of people around the world live fulfilling lives with T1D, and with the right information and support, you can too. This blog is your starting point on this journey, packed with practical advice and insights to help you manage T1D effectively and live life to the fullest.

Understanding Type 1 Diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which your immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas. This means your body can't produce insulin, a hormone needed to regulate blood sugar (glucose) levels.

The healthy range of sugar levels for a T1D is between 80 mg/dl and 180 md/dl. A good HBA1C (average blood glucose levels calculated during a blood test) is 7% and lower. 

Managing Blood Sugar:

1. Insulin Therapy: Most people with T1D require insulin therapy, which can be delivered through injections or an insulin pump. 

Insulin injections: There are two types - bolus (short acting) and basal (long acting) insulin. The bolus insulin effects for a maximum of 4 hours and is usually given during meals or as a correction dose when sugar levels are too high. The basal insulin works for 24-48 hours delivering small doses of insulin so that your levels in between meals and during the night are managed. 

Insulin pump: It administers a continuous, customizable insulin dose mirroring the pancreas's natural function and allows for additional, mealtime bolus insulin. Users interact with the pump via a monitoring device like a phone, calculating doses based on blood sugar and meal data. It's connected to the body via a cannula and tubing, providing a convenient, needle-free insulin delivery method for better blood sugar control and flexibility in daily life. 

Your doctor will help you determine the best option for you but finances are a big part of this decision. That said, either approach provides the person a comfortable and fulfilling life nonetheless. 

2. Carbohydrate Counting: Learn to count carbohydrates in your meals and adjust your insulin doses accordingly. This helps maintain stable blood sugar levels. Speak to your healthcare team for more training or guidance. More information is shared in various of our blogs and on our social media channels. 

3. Regular Monitoring: Invest in a good glucose monitor. Check your blood sugar levels as recommended by your healthcare provider. This data is crucial for making informed decisions.

Healthy Lifestyle Choices:

1. Balanced Diet: Focus on a balanced diet rich in whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. Limit your intake of sugary and processed foods.

2. Physical Activity: Engage in regular physical activity. Exercise can help regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. Remember to monitor your levels before and after exercise as some exercises can also cause sugar drops or spikes. 

Building Your Support System:

1. Healthcare Team: Your healthcare provider, endocrinologist, and diabetes educator will be your primary sources of support. Don't hesitate to ask questions and seek guidance.

2. Diabetes Community: Connect with others living with T1D through support groups or online communities. Sharing experiences and tips can be incredibly valuable. ACT1D has many such platforms including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and a tight knit community of T1Ds on WhatsApp. We also conduct educational webinars to learn and help each other manage diabetes. Contact us on any of these platforms for more information.

Emergency Preparedness:

Always carry a source of glucose (like glucose tablets or sugar sachets) to treat low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) episodes quickly. Inform your close friends and family about the signs and treatment of hypoglycemia.

Regular Check-ups:

Schedule regular check-ups with your healthcare team. These appointments are essential for tracking your progress, adjusting your treatment plan, and catching any potential complications early.

A Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis doesn't mean your life is limited. It's a journey that comes with its challenges, but with the right tools, support, and a positive mindset, you can thrive. Remember, you're not alone, and there's a whole community of individuals ready to support and inspire you on this incredible journey. Welcome to the T1D community, where you're stronger than you know.