Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas stops producing insulin. Because insulin is essential for normal body function, all people with type 1 diabetes need insulin to stay healthy.
And that’s ok!
Modern medicine is an amazing thing, and there are more insulin options than ever before. While in the past, the only way to manage type 1 diabetes was with insulin shots, now there are pumps, pens, and even inhalers that can simplify your insulin regimen.
Providing your body with the insulin it needs is critical to living a long, healthy life.
The Importance of Insulin
Insulin is a hormone that acts as a signal to the cells to pull glucose out of the bloodstream. Glucose is what the body uses for energy, so without insulin, your cells will starve.
In someone without diabetes, the pancreas produces and secretes insulin in response to changes in glucose levels. For example, when glucose levels rise after a meal, insulin tells the cells to absorb what they need for energy or store it for later.
In type 1 diabetes, the islet cells, which produce insulin in the pancreas, are damaged. Without healthy islet cells, the body creates little to no insulin. This means your body has no way to respond to high levels of glucose.
Side effects of not having enough insulin include:
- Excessive thirst
- Having to pee more than normal
- Weight loss
- Poor wound healing
The body cannot survive without insulin. For someone with type 1 diabetes, insulin is a life-saver.
In someone without diabetes, the pancreas is constantly adjusting insulin levels to regulate blood glucose. And the number of factors that influence blood glucose levels is astounding.
- How much carbohydrates you eat at a meal
- The timing of meals
- Lack of sleep
- Activity levels
- Timing of activity
Throughout the day, your insulin needs vary. For a person with type 1 diabetes, this means you need an insulin regimen that can adapt to whatever life throws at you.
Types of Insulin
Most people with type 1 diabetes use a mix of different types of insulin. Each type of insulin is designed to work at a different speed and provides a unique effect on blood glucose.
Most types of insulin fall into these categories:
- Regular or short-acting
- Ultra long-acting
Your diabetes care team is your best resource for designing an insulin regimen that works for you. In addition, regular blood glucose testing will give you valuable feedback on how well your regimen is working.
As your body and life change over time, your insulin can be adjusted to better meet your needs.
Insulin Helps You Live Better
The goal of diabetes management is for you to live a good life, free from complications and illness. A fine-tuned insulin regimen is critical to your success.
When your type 1 diabetes is well-controlled, you will feel your best. This allows you to enjoy life to its fullest and maintain your health long-term.
Here at DETs, we focus on wellness, not an illness. We’re ready to work with you to create a diabetes care plan that helps you live better.