Autoimmune Disorder Diary Entry

Updated: Aug 3, 2021

Written by Parkhi Shah

14 July 2021,

Whew! That was a tiring day! I have to work out for two hours regularly, they do help in controlling the glucose or sugar levels in my blood but they are way too exhausting! I am so done with type 1 diabetes. I got diagnosed with it about a year ago. Type 1 diabetes is a condition in which one’s immune system destroys insulin-making cells in your pancreas. These are called beta cells. The condition is usually diagnosed in children and young people, so it used to be called juvenile diabetes. The main difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes is that people with type 1 diabetes don’t respond to insulin(a hormone produced in the pancreas), whereas people with type 2 diabetes don’t respond to insulin as well as they often don’t make enough insulin. Some of its common symptoms are extreme thirst, increased hunger, dry mouth, upset stomach and vomiting, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, blurry vision, laboured breathing, mood changes, bedwetting. Some of the common signs of type 1 diabetes are - rapid breathing, fruity smell to one’s breathing, belly pain, loss of consciousness. Some of the symptoms I showed were bedwetting, extreme thirst, increased hunger and shaking and confusion. In simple language, Type 1 diabetes occurs when your immune system, the body's system for fighting infection, attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. Scientists think type 1 diabetes is caused by genes and environmental factors, such as viruses, that might trigger the disease. Type 1 diabetes can cause high levels of sugar in one's blood which can eventually cause:

  • Dehydration(when there’s extra sugar in the blood, the person pees more. That’s the body’s way of getting rid of it. A large amount of water goes out with that urine, causing your body to dry out.

  • Weight Loss. The glucose that goes out when one pee takes calories with it. That’s why many people with high blood sugar levels lose weight. Dehydration also plays a part, as mentioned above.

  • Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). If a body can't get enough glucose for fuel, it breaks down fat cells instead. This creates chemicals called ketones in the body. The liver releases the sugar it stores to help out. But the body can’t use it without insulin, so it builds up in your blood, along with the acidic ketone chemicals we talked about earlier. This mix of extra glucose, dehydration, and acid buildup is known as ketoacidosis and can be life-threatening if not treated right away.

  • Damage to the body. Over time, high glucose levels in the blood can harm the nerves and small blood vessels in your eyes, kidneys, and heart(excess blood sugar decreases the elasticity of blood vessels and causes them to narrow, impeding blood flow. This can lead to a reduced supply of blood and oxygen, increasing the risk of high blood pressure and damage to large and small blood vessels.). They can also make you more likely to get hardened arteries or atherosclerosis(atherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries), which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Genes also play a role in someone getting diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Some practices people with type 1 diabetes adopt to keep it in check are :

  • Exercising Regularly: Exercise affects your blood sugar levels. (exercise draws on reserve sugar stored in your muscles and liver.) So you have to balance your insulin dose and the food you eat with any activity, even simple tasks around the house or yard.

  • Checking the patient's blood sugar levels regularly: knowledge is power. The more one knows about what is happening in your body because of type 1 diabetes the easier life will get for the person who has it. There are kits that have devices that enable one to check the sugar levels in their blood at home and are beyond handy.

At the end of the day, type 1 diabetes is not a very fatal disease, if the patient is regular with physical activities and keeps their consumption of certain food components, such as fats and sugars, in check. I have had type 1 diabetes for a while now. As I said above, some days are exhausting however one should make the most of the time they have, as once a wise man said:

“Life is not supposed to be long , rather, it is supposed to be big.”
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