Type 1 Diabetes: Living With the Disease (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Your experience with type 1 diabetes will be different from that of other people. But your treatment will be the same: taking insulin, eating a balanced diet that spreads carbohydrate throughout the day, getting regular exercise, and checking your blood sugar levels.
If you work closely with your doctor and follow your treatment, you will feel better and more in control of your life. You also may prevent or delay complications.
Not everyone with diabetes develops complications from the disease. Keeping blood sugar levels within a target range may prevent or delay complications. If your teen with diabetes controls his or her blood sugar, he or she can avoid developing complications in young adulthood.
Injected insulin cannot perfectly match the action of a working pancreas, so you will have high and low blood sugar levels from time to time. If your blood sugar stays above your target range for a long time, your blood vessels and nerves may be damaged. This damage can lead to:
People with diabetes often already have other health problems. These may include high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Or they may develop other health problems as diabetes progresses. These conditions, along with smoking, can cause diabetes complications or can make existing ones worse. Not smoking and controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol level can help prevent or help slow complications.
Other health problems in teens
Eating disorders are also common among teens and young adults with diabetes. Eating disorders and the tendency to skip insulin injections can cause swings in blood sugar levels outside the target range. Eating disorders need to be diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible to prevent serious health problems.
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