In March 2017 I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. It caught me by surprise and I literally knew no one with Type 1, nor did I know anything about this disease. If I had known a little about diabetes, maybe I would have realized what was wrong before I landed myself in the hospital with off the charts blood sugar levels. In honour of Diabetes Awareness Month, I wanted to share about my life with diabetes and some FAQs.
November is Diabetes Awareness Month and November 14 is World Diabetes Day. It is a great opportunity to raise awareness about Type 1 diabetes.
Diabetes Awareness Month…Here are some other T1D facts
MYTH: Type 1 Diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar.
FACT: Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that affects your pancreas. The pancreas is responsible for producing insulin, a hormone people need to get energy from food. When you have Type 1 diabetes, for unknown reasons, your pancreas does not produce any insulin. As a result, I need to inject insulin and I must continuously monitor my blood-sugar levels. Type 1 is a non-stop and 24/7 disease that I will never get a break from. There is no way to prevent Type 1 and there is no cure…yet.
MYTH: People with Type 1 Diabetes can be cured with diet and exercise.
FACT: There is no way to prevent Type 1 and there is no cure…yet. Diet and exercise are important for managing diabetes, but they do not treat or reverse it.
…And Even More!
MYTH: If you have Type 1 Diabetes you can’t have sugar.
FACT: People with Type 1 Diabetes are not limited to what they can eat. Insulin is administered to cover the carbs or sugar they eat. Too much sugar is bad for everyone, but moderation is key. Sugar is also needed and life-saving for diabetics with low blood sugar. I always carry candy with me for this reason.
MYTH: You won’t get Type 1 Diabetes if you live a healthy and active lifestyle.
FACT: Type 1 Diabetes is not caused by a person’s lifestyle choices. Diet, activity level, and weight have no effect on the onset of Type 1 Diabetes.
MYTH: Adults can’t get Type 1 Diabetes.
FACT: Type 1 Diabetes affects babies, children, teens, and adults. While Type 1 Diabetes develops in children or adolescents, diagnosis in adulthood happens as well. Which is why the name Type 1 Diabetes no longer goes by “Juvenile Diabetes”.
You can watch my vlog below or on YouTube for better quality.
The Type 1 Diabetes Community
I have found an amazing community of other people with diabetes who have enriched my life. We are all going through the same 24/7 struggle and understand each other. I have had people come up to me at the dog park, Starbucks, and other random places after noticing my pump. The diabetes community is strong and supportive.
Although diabetes is a difficult disease, treatment options are improving all the time, and people with diabetes can lead full and active lives. I certainly have not let it stop me from living a full life that I love.
Find the Upside
Having diabetes turns your world upside down, there is no doubt about that. My hope is that together, we can flip the story. My hope is that in my lifetime there will be a cure for diabetes. We can fight to one day turn diabetes on its head.
This month Accu-Chek, the maker of the Accu-Chek Guide system that I have posted about in the past, is launching an #UpsideChallenge. For every selfie uploaded, Accu-Chek will donate $5 to a Canadian diabetes-related organization. So please, help me and everyone with diabetes by uploading a photo and because together we can turn the tables on this illness!
This diabetes awareness month post is brought you in collaboration with Accu-Chek Guide. Thank you for supporting the companies that support me.