Monday, February 23, 2009

Type 1 Diabetes

*I found this on Beat The Bridge My sister-in-law Jenni shared this with us and will be running it for Ryann. We hope to make it over there and join her for it! I think it would make a awesome birthday present for her (her birthday is on May 14th and the race is the weekend following it). I will post more info about that later (once I know more) if anyone would like to donate for the cause or even participate in it with us. So anyways, I saw a link on their page that said "Type 1 Diabetes Facts" and I thought it would be interesting to share it all with you. I don't think most people realize just what having diabetes or living with someone with diabetes can be like.*

Type 1 Diabetes Facts

Affects Young Children

Type 1 diabetes strikes children suddenly, makes them dependent on injected or pumped insulin for life, and carries the constant threat of devastating complications. While diagnosis most often occurs in childhood and adolescence, it can and does strike adults as well. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. While the causes of this process are not yet entirely understood, scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved.

Needs Constant Attention

To stay alive, people with type 1 diabetes must take multiple insulin injections daily or continually infuse insulin through a pump, and test their blood sugar by pricking their fingers for blood six or more times per day. While trying to balance insulin doses with their food intake and daily activities, people with this form of diabetes must always be prepared for serious hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemic (high blood sugar) reactions, both of which can be life-limiting and life threatening.

Insulin Does Not Cure It

While insulin allows a person to stay alive, it does not cure diabetes nor does it prevent its eventual and devastating effects: kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage, amputations, heart attack and stroke.

Difficult to Manage

Despite rigorous attention to maintaining a meal plan and exercise regimen, and always injecting the proper amount of insulin, many other factors can adversely affect efforts to tightly control blood-sugar levels including: stress, hormonal changes, periods of growth, physical activity, medications, illness/infection, and fatigue.

Statistics and Warning Signs

· More than 1.3 million Americans have type 1 diabetes.
· Each year over 13,000 children are diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. That’s 35 children each and every day.
· Warning signs of type 1 diabetes include: extreme thirst, frequent urination, drowsiness or lethargy, increased appetite, sudden weight loss for no reason, sudden vision changes, sugar in urine, fruity odor on breath, heavy or labored breathing, stupor or unconsciousness. These may occur suddenly.

What is it like to have type 1 diabetes?

Ask people who have type 1 diabetes. It’s difficult. It’s upsetting. It’s life threatening. It doesn’t go away.

“Both children and adults like me who live with type 1 diabetes need to be mathematicians, physicians, personal trainers and dieticians all rolled into one. We need to be constantly factoring and adjusting, making frequent finger sticks to check blood sugars, and giving ourselves multiple daily insulin injections just to stay alive.”
— Actress Mary Tyler Moore, JDRF’s International Chairman

“Diabetes is always there. There’s never a vacation. It’s like a bad dream that lasts all day, all year, for my entire life.”
— Patrick Finan, 16, New York

“Every day, I have to endure up to six injections of insulin and more than ten finger pricks to keep me alive. When my blood sugar is high, my head hurts, I feel angry and sad, and it is hard to concentrate. When my blood sugar is low, I am dizzy, shaky, and in danger of becoming unconscious.”
— Emma Melton, 16, Massachusetts

“I already have problems with my kidneys, and I take medicine every day so my kidneys won’t fail. I worry about what will happen if a cure isn’t found soon.
I don’t have time to wait.
— LaNiece Evans-Scott, 11, Ohio

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic, debilitating disease affecting every organ system. There are two major types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. Type 1 diabetes usually strikes in childhood, adolescence, or young adulthood, but lasts a lifetime. People with type 1 diabetes must take multiple injections of insulin daily or continuous infusion of insulin through a pump just to survive. Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which a person’s body still produces insulin but is unable to use it effectively. Type 2 is usually diagnosed in adulthood and does not always require insulin injections. However, increased obesity has led to a recent “epidemic” in cases of type 2 diabetes in young adults. Taking insulin does not cure any type of diabetes nor prevent the possibility of its eventual and devastating effects: kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage, amputation, heart attack, and stroke.

The Scope of Diabetes

More than 18 million Americans have diabetes (6.3 percent of population):
Diagnosed: 13 million
Undiagnosed: 5.2 million
As many as 3 million Americans may have type 1 diabetes.†194 million people have diabetes worldwide. According to World Health Organization Estimates, this number will more than double by 2030. In the U.S., a new case of diabetes is diagnosed every 30 seconds; more than 1.3 million people are diagnosed each year.

The Cost of Diabetes

Diabetes is the single most costly chronic disease.
In 2002, diabetes accounted for $132 billion in health-care costs in the U.S.
Diabetes accounts for 32 percent of all Medicare expenditures. People with diabetes in the U.S. incur medical expenses that are approximately 2.4 times higher than people without diabetes.

The Damage Caused by Diabetes

Attacks Many Organ Systems: Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, adult blindness, and non-traumatic amputations and a leading cause of nerve damage, stroke, and heart attacks.

Increased Risk: People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than someone without the disease.

Shortens Life: Diabetes kills one American every three minutes and is the sixth leading cause of death reported in the U.S. Life expectancy for people with diabetes is shortened by an average of 7-10 years, and the risk of death for people with diabetes is about two times that of people without diabetes.

*If you made it through all of that, I salute you! I will add the picture(s) of the day later on! But I hope this answered some of your questions about Diabetes and how hard it is to live with it day in and day out.*

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