Being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes can be extremely scary. Luckily, there are plenty of ways in which people with diabetes can remain healthy and live fulfilling lives – even though this might be hard to think about when first diagnosed. Here are some helpful tips for recently diagnosed type 1 diabetics.
When you are first diagnosed with diabetes, doctors will use insulin to bring your blood sugar down to an acceptable level before discharging you from the hospital. If you have not been provided with one, it is very important that you buy an accurate blood sugar monitor. If you do not regularly test, it is very hard to maintain a stable level of glucose in your blood – the main aim of diabetes control.
Test your blood sugar when you wake up, before each meal, and at times when you can feel the impact of high or low sugars.
Don’t Forget Ketones
Many people with diabetes, swamped with the stresses of blood sugar control after a diagnosis, forget to check their ketones. Ketones appear in the blood when the body detects an inability to transform sugar into energy. They are part of the mechanism the body uses to transform fat into energy, but their appearance in people with diabetes can indicate real problems. Most modern blood sugar testing kits can also accept special ketone strips. These should be used when you have unusually high blood sugar or if you are suffering from an additional illness. If you do have ketones in your blood, you need to use insulin to take your sugars down rapidly, and you should contact your doctor. If your blood sugar testing kit does not accept ketone strips, then you may need to test your urine.
Limit High And Low Sugars
Both high and low blood sugar readings can have long-term health consequences. Repeated low blood sugar episodes can lead to an inability to recognize hypoglycemia, which can lead to a loss of control over the body in dangerous situations such as driving. Repeated high blood sugar can lead to neuropathy: otherwise known as nerve damage. Neuropathy can result in sight loss and a loss of feeling to extremities, which is the reason why so many amputees have diabetes. High blood sugar can also increase the risk of cardiovascular and kidney disease. Keeping your blood sugar at a reasonable level significantly decreases the chances of long-term health complications resulting from diabetes.
Cut Down On Drinking And Smoking
It is always a good idea to cut down on drinking and smoking, but for people with diabetes, it is especially important. If you are a smoker, a diabetes diagnosis should be your sign to begin quitting. Diabetes makes the likelihood of cardiovascular disease higher, which can be compounded by long term tobacco use. Alcohol can be dangerous if abused by people with diabetes. This is because it has an unusual sugar profile: causing quick spikes in blood sugar followed by a significant dip. If you do drink, make sure to consume complex carbohydrates at the same time.