Updated: Nov 12, 2019
I am a parent of a Type 1 Diabetic warrior and November is Type 1 Diabetes Awareness Month. In an effort to raise awareness I am providing you with some information about Type 1 and what to watch out for. For those of you who may not be familiar with Type 1 diabetes , it is an autoimmune disorder that causes your body to attack itself therefore your insulin (the stuff that breaks down the sugar in your blood from all the carbohydrates you eat) no longer works. Translation, your pancreas is now a useless organ and in lue of that useless organ you must now inject synthetic insulin into your body multiple times a day to ensure that your blood sugar doesn’t get too high.
I often get asked questions about my daughters diagnosis at 13 months and if you would like to read the full story click on "our story" below. But in an effort to spread awareness about this disease, I am listing some of the classic symptoms. Chances are you will never experience any of these but you never know one day you may encounter a friend that starts talking about bed wetting or excessive thirst in their child and they can't figure it out but you read an article once that may lead them to a diagnosis. Undiagnosed Type 1 has a time limit and the longer that someone goes without insulin in their body the more likely outcome will be fatal. So early detection and diagnosis are key. Below are some of the most common signs. Please take a minute to look through them.
Excessive thirst- and this is not like my kid seems more thirsty today than yesterday, this is like my kid gets mad if denied water and is drinking so much water it is very noticeable.
Excessive urination/ bedwetting- Since my daughter was in diapers her diapers were very, very wet all the time throughout the day. She would pee through them at night as well. Older kids may start wetting the bed out of nowhere (this can also just be a phase but when coupled with excessive thirst) can be a red flag.
Heavy breathy/ fruity breath- If your child seems to be breathing faster without congestion or has a fruity odor to their breath this could also be a sign.
Unexplained weight loss if you notice that your child is starting to look “thin” this could also be a sign. Children, especially little kids don’t lose weight just because.
Irritability- let's face it kids are moody but if your child just seems generally uncomfortable and angry this could be a sign. High blood sugar makes kids feel pretty crappy and they don’t know why. Again, on its own “irritability” is not worrisome but when paired with any of the above symptoms may be worth looking at.
All of these signs and symptoms can just be normal child development but when working in conjunction with one another they indicate Type 1. The good news and getting tested is a simple prick of the finger and within seconds you can learn your child's blood sugar.
As of now there is no cure for Type 1 but there are all types of medical advancements that have made living with Type 1 so much easier. And Type 1 cannot be cured with diet or exercise like some people may think.
Type 1 is an autoimmune condition that is triggered by unknown factors present in your body that cause your pancreas to no longer produce insulin. Type 2 is often triggered by poor diet, weight gain or genetic factors and your body still has the ability to produce insulin and is often aided my oral medication or in extreme cases, injections, People with Type 2 can often manage their condition with diet and exercise. Please make an effort to understand that my child's condition was not a result of anything they “did” to themselves and cannot be cured by anything that they do in terms of physical fitness. If you are still reading this… THANK YOU! If you want to learn more about our family you can follow us on @parentingtype1 or DM with any questions. And my last piece of advice to any mama… follow your instincts. Thank God I did or we would be having a very different conversation.