I am still amazed at the almost obscene amount of knowledge that I have about diabetes floating about in my head. I have much more to learn but feel I have done remarkably well in a short space of time.
Six weeks ago I knew Type 1 diabetes was an incurable condition that had something to do with sugar; now I am close to a Mastermind session on it.
What causes it?
This is an easy one – no one knows, medical science is a bit baffled about diabetes.
We do know that some people are susceptible to diabetes type one and it is hereditary.
In cases like twin girls where there is no hereditary link it is presumed that six months (ish) before diagnosis her body would have been infected with a virus that her immune system struggled to fight off and as a result her pancreas tried to have a bash, failed and died as a result.
Just what every body needs, an over valiant pancreas willing to die for its quest.
What cures type one diabetes?
Another easy one – we are stuck with this, so far diabetes is chronically uncurable. #arse
How do you treat it?
Insulin, and more insulin.
This is the scientific part…
In order to be able to eat most any food we need to ensure she gets the correct dose of insulin per meal.
So we carb count, three times a day and we give insulin accordingly.
Beans on toast has 50 carbs in, twin girl has one unit of insulin per every 25 carbs so to wolf down the nations favourite tea she has to inject 2 units of insulin beforehand. Make sense? Good.
Is there anything she can’t eat?
Juice – you can give it her and she will show you what hyper really means…
Can she have sweets and chocolate?
Yes, but she can only have them after a meal so if she is offered a sweet before a meal she will most likely say thanks and hide it away for later. She was devestated when all her friends were giving chocolate by a well meaning adult and she was told that she would get some ‘special’ chocolate the next day. Have you tasted diabetic chocolate? It brings shame to the cocca bean, give us dairy milk any day of the week.
Can she snack?
Yes, she can have a snack morning and afternoon if she wants but it has to be less than 10 carbs (with less than 30% sugars). So a digestive always goes down nicely.
Is there anything she can eat when she wants?
Cheese and ham baby, cheese and ham.
What’s a hypo?
Normal blood sugar range is between 4 and 8, when a diabetic drops below 4 she is ‘hypo’ which means she doesn’t have enough sugar to function and needs some fast acting sweets to kick start her system.
When twin girl drops below 4 she feels shaky and goes so pale she is almost see through. She tests her blood and has some sweets and flies back up to “normal”.
If you don’t treat a hypo she will become unconcious.
What is hyper?
Hyper is when she has too much sugar (ie about 8). She tends to go a bit excitable and then gets headaches and feels quite low. Best way to get rid of it is to get her to do star jumps or run round the garden twice.
Sugars over 20 are considered extreme and dangerous.
Does it change anything?
Everything and nothing at all.
That is the basics. I have more but will save it for Mastermind…