November is National Diabetes Month
Teaching Type 1 Diabetes this November
Understanding Type 1 Diabetes
November calls attention to the over 26 million Americans, over 8% of the U.S. population, are now afflicted with diabetes. Everyday in America, 35 children are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. That is more than one child every hour.
What Are Some Symptoms?
Thirsty and Dry Mouth
Pain in Your Belly
Nausea and Vomiting
Unexplained Weight Loss
Fruity Smell to your Breath
Shaking and Confusion
Frequent Infections of the Skin, Urinary Tract, or Vagina
Heavy, Labored Breathing
What Causes It?
Genes play a role in type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes can result when something in the environment, like a virus, tells your immune system to go after your pancreas. Most people with type 1 diabetes have signs of this attack, called autoantibodies. They’re present in almost everyone who has the condition when their blood sugar is high.
Type 1 diabetes can happen along with other autoimmune diseases, like Grave’s disease or vitiligo.
What Happens Without Treatment?
This eye problem happens in about 80% of adults who have had type 1 diabetes for more than 15 years. It’s rare before puberty no matter how long you’ve had the disease.
To prevent it — and keep your eyesight — keep good control of blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides.
About 20% to 30% of people with type 1 diabetes get a condition called nephropathy. The chances grow over time. It’s most likely to show up 15 to 25 years after the onset of diabetes.
It can lead to other serious problems like kidney failure and heart disease.
Poor Blood Circulation and Nerve Damage
Damaged nerves and hardened arteries lead to a loss of sensation in and a lack of blood supply to your feet. This raises your chances of injury and makes it harder for open sores and wounds to heal. And when that happens, you could lose a limb.
Nerve damage can also cause digestive problems like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.