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Wilford Brimley would know what to do...

Discussion in 'Congregation of the Masses' started by Aeres, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. Aeres

    Aeres

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Messages:
    72
    So, I learned a few months ago that I have type 1 diabetes. Naturally, I was a bit frightened at first (who the hell doesn't get a bit leery about having an incurable, potentially fatal disease?), but I quickly adapted to the basic routines that diabetics have to go through. As of late, however, I've been facing a bit of a problem, and I was wondering if Smogon happened to house other diabetics who might be able to help address the issue.

    First, some background info on what diabetes type 1 actually is (skip this if you're already familiar):

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    Non-diabetics control their inherent blood-sugar levels via insulin produced by the pancreas, which allows the sugars to become absorbed into the blood cells as energy. Type 1 diabetics cannot produce insulin, due to an auto-immune response that targets the pancreas and destroys the Islets of Langerhans, the nodes that produce insulin. Therefore, a type 1 diabetic's body is completely reliant on insulin injections to steady the blood-sugar levels; failure to do so can result in pretty bad shit.

    Fortunately, a diabetic's pancreas doesn't go splat immediately; after the first few months (or even years) of diagnosis, the pancreas continues to partially function by producing slight amounts of insulin to help control your blood-sugar levels; this period of time is known as the "honeymoon", and has no definite start/stop time, as stated earlier. Once this period of time is finished, your pancreas is basically out of the game, and the diabetic is now prone to random spikes and drops in blood-sugar levels (making your blood-sugar levels very difficult to keep consistent), which can be potentially dangerous if not accounted for. This is corrected by increasing the doses of insulin taken before meals, to substitute for the now-absent spurts of insulin from the pancreas.


    That period after the "honeymoon" is what concerns me, as I'm reasonably certain that I've completed that phase. I no longer feel comfortable / safe all the time, because I'm worried that if I don't have a supply of glucose tablets (or raisins or something sugary), I'll be screwed. What's worse, I'm not scheduled for a checkup (adjusting doses and such) until August 30th, so I won't have an updated "carbohydrate-to-insulin" ratio anytime soon.

    So, my question for any diabetics here would be: How do you effectively and efficiently monitor your blood-sugar levels? Is a constant vigil necessary? Have you had any close calls before with high / low levels, and how did you remedy these issues?
  2. MrIndigo

    MrIndigo

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Messages:
    2,244
    A friend of mine checks his blood every few hours, or just after eating; he had a close call last year when, during a late night doing honours work the week before thesis was due, he passed out in the lab and was only found by his ex-girlfriend when she couldn't get hold of him on his mobile.
  3. skarm

    skarm I HAVE HOTEL ROOMS
    is a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Site Staff Alumnusis a Battle Server Admin Alumnusis a Smogon IRC SOp Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis an Administrator Alumnus

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    My grandfather was diabetic, and he always closely monitored his blood sugar. The best "defense" is being proactive - always making sure you're eating regularly, and eating the correct types of foods.

    Additionally I have supervised people who have been diabetic and had a low drop in blood sugar. The first is clearly to recognize the warning signs such as spacing out, etc. I would suggest you let your friends know what the warnings signs are so they can tell you if they think you're 'crashing'. Your doctor would be the one to talk to about how to treat a sugar high or low crash, but the safest would be to let others know what to watch for in case you yourself do not realize it.

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