(If you head over to the fabulous new tab on my blog labeled “About Gary” you can read about my husband’s story about being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and why we both want to share and open up more about our life with it.)
As of 2015, over 29 MILLION people in the United States have Diabetes (Type 1 and 2, which I’ll get into in just a moment) and another 8 MILLION or more haven’t been officially diagnosed as Diabetic. It’s an epidemic and a disease that can be managed (Type 1) and prevented in many cases (Type 2.) There are so many health issues that plague our country and that are so widespread, but Diabetes hits very close to home for me. I felt compelled to open up about this side of our life so that we can reach those we are meant to help and empower to learn more about how to use knowledge along with health and fitness to proactively act against it.
Let me give you the quick schpeal on which is which and what is what!
Type 1 Diabetes: An Autoimmune disease where the pancreas no longer produces insulin to regular sugar that enters the blood stream. Many times, this is referred to as Juvenile Diabetes as patients are diagnosed in childhood. However, it can also be referred to as Type 1 now because many adults are diagnosed in their 20s and over. Causes are unknown other than certain genes showing precursors or some even thinking that cells can attack the pancreas from the inside. No one is exactly sure, and there is also no cure but we’re hoping there will be!
Type 2 Diabetes: Also known as adult onset diabetes, Type 2 can happen from hereditary reasons or lifestyle. The pancreas can no longer produce enough insulin or enough quickly to combat the food that enters into the blood stream. Many times, changes in diet and exercise can utilize carbohydrates better so that blood sugar levels are within a preferred range. Complications or increased hyperglycemia (high blood sugars) can lead to insulin needing to be introduced as a medication for T2 Diabetics.
Yes, I know that a lot of this information can seem like medical jibber jabber or even overwhelming, but it’s important to know the difference between T1 and T2 and also the similarities with both. It makes sense for it all to make sense. In order for me to be my husband’s biggest advocate, I want to learn as much as I can and know how to support him as best I can – So, don’t worry, friends, I’ll be your Diabetes decoder!
Since I have decided to focus on becoming a Certified Diabetes Educator [- Paraprofessional Level 1,] I also wanted to get more involved with JDRF – the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. We joined the local chapter for Type One Nation Summit with a friend who is also Type 1 Diabetic to learn more about involvement and about recent happenings in the world of T1.
We made it official and joined the Southern Nevada Chapter as Outreach Volunteers to work with families who are newly diagnosed to do life with them and be in this together!
It’s never easy being someone who has Diabetes and also as someone who is a spouse or partner or friend or family member of someone with T1 or T2. The goal isn’t to bypass the challenges, but to learn more about them and how to work through them. The goal is ALSO to know that Diabetes doesn’t have to stop you from doing anything you want in life as long as you know how to control your blood sugars as well as seek support and be vocal about your life so that you can build a positive circle of influence!
Stay tuned to my INSTAGRAM for my #Type1Wife Tips and for my posts related to those and other happenings in our life here on my blog!
Are you or is someone you know impacted by Diabetes?
What tips or facts would you want to learn or know?