In This Chapter
^ Discovering what type 1 diabetes is ^ Dealing with physical and emotional effects ^ Treating type 1 diabetes ^ Living life to the fullest with type 1 diabetes
■ n 2005, the most recent year for which there are statistics, there were 340,000 people in the United States with type 1 diabetes (T1DM) according to the Centers for Disease Control. About half were children up to age 20. There are 30,000 new cases every year, almost all in children.
Whether you're an older child or young adult able to take care of your own diabetes, or a parent or other caregiver for a young child with this disease, you should be aware that there's a great deal that you can do to minimize both the short- and long-term complications that may develop and live a long and healthy life with T1DM.
What! You don't believe me! Consider the story of two brothers, Robert and Gerald. Robert is 85 years old and developed T1DM at age 5. Gerald is 90 and developed T1DM at age 16. The physician who follows them, Dr. George L. King, research director of the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, studies patients with T1DM who have lived more than 50 years with the disease. He has more than 400 such patients.
Dr. King says that these patients have a lot in common. They
1 Do a lot of exercise i Eat very carefully il Have a very positive outlook
These actions form the basis of effective T1DM treatment, which I introduce in this chapter. I also give you an overview of the potential consequences of T1DM and tips for living well with it.
At the present time, there's no way to prevent T1DM, but I believe a change isn't far off and T1DM may be preventable in perhaps in the next five years. The breakthrough will come with the use of stem cells, transplantation, or the elimination of the cause of T1DM. You can read much more about this subject in Chapters 13 and 21.
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Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body uses food. Normally, your body converts sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses glucose for fuel. The cells receive the glucose through the bloodstream. They then use insulin a hormone made by the pancreas to absorb the glucose, convert it into energy, and either use it or store it for later use. Learn more...