The easiest way to upset my type 1 patients and their families is by asking them ” you are not fat, how come you have diabetes?” As a matter of fact, one mother who came in to get her children’s insulins today commented on how ignorant other parents in the school carnival were. Her kids are excellent runners who are slim and fit. She said if she gets a dollar each time others ask her what’s wrong with her cooking (apparently many parents thought it’s her cooking that made her kids “diabetic”) she would be rich now!
After our discussion, this mother knew why people did not have a good awareness of type 1 diabetes as I explained that only 10-15% of the people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes even though it is one of the most common chronic conditions in children.
She said her children were both diagnosed after losing lots of weight while eating a lot still and they were constantly thirsty and yet they went to the toilets all the time. I’ve mentioned to her that most type 1 diabetes have sudden onset with symptoms, such as excessive thirst and urination, unusual weight loss, blurred vision, weakness and fatigue.
Unlike type 2 diabetes, type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition which means the patient’s immune system actually destroys the insulin- producing cells in the pancreas. I would explain that since the pancreas does not produce insulin so all the type 1 diabetes patients would need multiple daily injections of insulin or using an insulin pump to treat their diabetes.
I cannot tell you what causes this auto-immune reaction. I can only tell you that nothing seem to prevent or cure type 1 diabetes at the moment. Many researches are being done to find a cure for type 1 diabetes for the future.
I will assist you in learning more about the condition and managing it effectively so you can enjoy your life even more. Even though poor choices of lifestyle factors (such as sugary food and lack of physical activity) do not cause type 1 diabetes, I still recommend my patients to choose healthy lifestyle choices (such as increasing their physical activity) to help minimise possible complications associated with diabetes.
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