Managing type 1 diabetes in adults can be difficult. After all, it’s not just diabetics who need to know what to do, but their loved ones also need to be knowledgeable about caring for someone with type 1 diabetes.
Managing Type 1 Diabetes in Adults
Here are some of the important things you need to remember when it comes to managing type 1 diabetes in adults:
Checking blood sugar levels
One of the most important things to know about managing type 1 diabetes as well as caring for someone with type 1 diabetes is checking blood sugar levels.
Here are the things that you’ll need to have on hand:
- glucometer, or a blood glucose meter
- lancets for pricking skin
- test strips
And here are the steps that you would need to do
- The first thing to do would be to wash your hands thoroughly.
- Next, insert a test strip into the glucometer.
- Prick your finger using the lancet, and squeeze it gently so that a drop of blood comes out.
- Touch the strip on the glucometer to the drop of blood. If you did it correctly, you should see numbers start to appear on the glucometer.
- After getting the reading, be sure to write it down on your blood glucose diary. This helps you keep track of how well you are managing your blood sugar levels.
People with type 1 diabetes need to know how to inject insulin properly. Since people with type 1 diabetes don’t produce insulin, regular injections are important when it comes to keeping their blood sugar levels in check.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:
- First, make sure that you are taking the right kind of insulin, and you are aware of how much insulin you need. This will usually be explained by your doctor, and it varies depending on your current blood sugar level, if you just ate, as well as the activities you’re planning on doing.
- Having an insulin pen would be ideal since it’s more convenient, but using a syringe and a bottle of insulin is also fine.
- Be sure to disinfect the area where you’ll be injecting insulin. This is usually around your tummy, but you can also inject your thighs, or your buttocks.
- If you’re using a pen, set the right dosage, and squirt a couple of units of insulin to make sure there are no air bubbles. Do the same thing if you’re using a syringe and an insulin bottle.
- Push the needle into your skin, about an inch away from where your last injection was.
- Inject the insulin, and after 10 seconds, remove the needle.
Know the warning signs of hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemia is a serious condition that all type 1 diabetics need to know about. This happens when your blood sugar levels dip too low.
In most cases, it can easily be avoided by monitoring your blood sugar levels. However, it can also happen without warning, so it would be best to recognize the possible warning signs.
Here are some of the warning signs of hypoglycemia:
- Sudden hunger
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty concentrating
If you feel that you might be having hypoglycemia, it would be best to eat a small amount of sugar. This could be a small piece of candy, a glass of juice, or even a small can of soda. Afterwards, make sure to check your blood sugar levels to see if they’re back to normal.
You can easily avoid hypoglycemia by eating on time, avoiding too much exercise, and making sure you’re taking the right dosage of insulin.
It’s also important for caregivers to be aware of these symptoms, as a person with diabetes might not always notice that they could already be experiencing hypoglycemia.
Watching the foods you eat
Type 1 diabetics generally don’t have any severe food restrictions. They can eat most anything that they want, provided that they don’t eat too much, and they are keeping their blood sugar levels under control.
It would also be a good idea to keep track of the foods that you eat, especially carbohydrates. This is because the amount of insulin you need can vary depending on how much carbohydrates are in the food you eat. Sweets are okay to eat, provided that they are only eaten in moderation.
For caregivers, it’s important to prepare healthy foods that are high in fiber as well as vitamins and minerals, but low in fat and carbohydrates. It would also be a good idea to keep track of the food that the person you’re caring for is eating, so that you can make sure they are eating healthy.
Staying fit and healthy
Even if you have diabetes, exercise is very important. However, be sure to not overdo it as too much exercise can cause hypoglycemia, especially if you exercise on an empty stomach.
Ideally, you should be getting at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly. This is enough to help keep your body fit and healthy, and also helps to keep your blood sugar levels on a healthy level.
If you engage in sports or more strenuous physical activity, you need to compensate for it by adjusting your meals, as well as your insulin intake. It would also be a good idea to talk to your doctor about it so that they are aware of any changes you’re doing.
For caregivers, be sure that the person you’re taking care of is not exercising too much, and that they are not hungry during exercise.
Being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes can be difficult at first. It can be pretty overwhelming to deal with all of the things that you need to do in order to keep yourself healthy.
This is why it is important to take things one day at a time. Listing down the things you need to do, or setting alarms on your phone can be very helpful.
It would also be helpful to let your friends and family know what they can do in order to help you out. Having a support system is very important when it comes to type 1 diabetes, and it can make managing your condition that much easier.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.