March 2, 2007, Newsletter Issue #92: Type I: Insulin-Dependent Diabetes

Tip of the Week

Type I Diabetes is also called insulin-dependent diabetes, because those affected need insulin to treat their disease.

The risk factors for developing Type I diabetes include:

* sedentary lifestyle

* obesity

* high blood pressure

* high cholesterol

* impaired glucose tolerance

* family history of diabetes

In this form of diabetes, the cells in the pancreas that make insulin are destroyed by the body's immune system. This makes Type I diabetes technically a form of auto-immune disease.

Symptoms include:

* frequenty urination (polyuria)

* excessive thirst (polydipsia)

* excessive hunger (polyphagia)

* weight loss

* confusion

Treatment for type 1 diabetes includes:

1. insulin - via injections or pump

2. following a diet plan, which generally included 50% carbohydrates, 20% proteins and 30% fats (according to the American Diabetes Association)

3. developing an exercise plan - preferably 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week

4. taking aspirin daily (for some)

5. losing excess weight

6. controlling blood pressure and cholesterol

The complications associated with Type I diabetes include:

* blindness

* heart disease

* kidney disease

* nerve damage

* anemia

* coma - due to high or low blood sugar

To decrease your risk of developing these serious and life-threatening complications, good control of your blood sugar is essential.

Talk to your physician or Diabetic Educator about the best plan to manage your disease and reduce the risk for complications.

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