A few critical issues for those with Type 1 diabetes
However, primarily because the “cushionâ in Type 1 diabetes is small regarding insulin, the need for caution is much greater. What I mean is that small changes in insulin and health can make a much bigger impact on those with Type 1 diabetes (as opposed to Type 2), which explains why these issues can be critical in those with Type 1 more so than their Type 2 diabetes neighbours. Some of these may surprise youâ¦
1) Staying hydrated. “What? Seriously doc, you are talking bout water?â you might ask. Yes, I am. As it turns out, in folks with diabetes of any type, staying well hydrated is important. But for people with Type 1 diabetes, dehydration can lead to some very serious situations in regard to high blood sugars. And as always, water is the best, and stay away from sodasâ¦
2) Taking medication ON TIME every day. This holds true for anyone really, but again because those with Type 1 diabetes already have no insulin in their bodies, taking insulin late (or skipping it) can have much worse (and rapid) consequences than in those with Type 2 diabetes.
3) Reporting pregnancy to your doctor. All you ladies of reproductive age out there, listen up! If you have Type 1 diabetes, hopefully you are keeping up with your doctor anyway. BUT when you get pregnant, it is absolutely CRITICAL that you stay in close contact. Your blood sugars WILL change throughout this pregnancy, sometimes in ways you will not anticipate. Your medical team will help you with changes in your insulin dose to target those ranges safe for your developing baby.
4) Sickness. Sometimes this can be something as “smallâ as a cold, but includes anything that causes a fever, diarrhoea or vomiting especially. If you have changes or additions in medication because of an illness, this should also be communicated to your doctor. All of these can change your insulin needs, so please donât assume everything goes on as usual. Get in contact with your doctor quickly if you become sick.
5) Being out of medication. This is related to Number 2 above, but is even worse. You CANNOT be without your medication. Let me repeat: if you have Type 1 diabetes,
YOU SHOULD NEVER BE WITHOUT YOUR MEDICATION.
Remember, you do not have insulin reserve that you can draw on if you miss your insulin medications. So, if you miss them, you most likely have little to no insulin in your body to help break down your food into energy. That leads you into trouble very quickly.
Bottom line: take your medications, keep an eye on your blood sugars and stay in close contact with your medical team. It is the best way to manage this disease, truly.
Until next week, stay safe and healthy Vincies!
Anita Ramsetty, MD [email protected]
Medical Director Endocrine Care Group