How to Deal with Newly Diagnosed Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

Newly Diagnosed Type 1 Diabetes

People with newly diagnosed Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus find it hard to manage. It becomes difficult to switch your diet and keep up with the new medications. But, proper treatment at this stage can save you from a lot of complications later.

The cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, known as beta cells, are thought to be the target of an autoimmune reaction that results in type 1 diabetes.

The hormone insulin acts as a key to open the door for blood sugar to enter your body’s cells for use as fuel.

Infection with a virus appears to trigger the autoimmune response at times. Many people with type 1 diabetes have relatives who also have the disease, but most people do not.

Juvenile diabetes was once the name given to the condition because it is typically diagnosed in young children and adolescents [ref].

Your blood sugar level for the previous two to three months is determined by an A1C (glycated hemoglobin) test.

It measures the strength of the bond between blood sugar and the protein that carries oxygen in red blood cells (hemoglobin).

The higher your blood sugar levels, the more sugar is bound to your hemoglobin. If your A1C level is 6.5% or higher on two different tests, you have diabetes.

In the absence of the A1C test or if you have medical conditions that could cause the test to be inaccurate, such as pregnancy or a hemoglobin variant (a rare type of hemoglobin), your doctor may use a random blood glucose test or a fasting blood sugar test to determine your blood sugar levels.

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When the diagnosis is made …

To discuss managing your newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes, you’ll visit your doctor regularly. The doctor will examine your A1C levels during these visits.

Your target A1C goal may alter based on age and several other factors. An average blood glucose level of about 154 mg/dL (8.5 mmol/L) is what the American Diabetes Association generally advises, or an A1C level below 7% [ref].

Rather than daily blood sugar checks, A1C testing demonstrates how effectively the diabetes treatment strategy is working. If the A1C levels are high, you must modify your meal plan, insulin dosage, or both.

Urine and blood samples will also be taken by your healthcare provider. With the aid of these samples, they will examine thyroid, liver, and kidney function in addition to cholesterol levels.

In addition, your healthcare professional will check the locations where you administer insulin and take your blood pressure.

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Diabetes Type 1: Day-to-Day Life

Your daily care is necessary if you have just been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. You must take insulin every day via injection or an insulin pump because it is essential for your survival.

Additionally, you’ll monitor your blood sugar levels throughout the day to make sure you’re doing your best to stay within your target range. Your medical team will work with you to determine your target range and how to remain within it.

Ask your doctor to recommend diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) services so you can get the information you need.

This will help you learn how to balance insulin, food, and exercise and get advice on how to deal with the psychological aspects of having diabetes. All these factors have an impact on your blood sugar levels.

Over time, having high blood sugar can lead to serious health issues like kidney failure, heart disease, and vision loss.

However, you can lessen your risk for these and other health issues. To improve your blood sugar, you’ll need to understand how food, exercise, and other aspects of your life affect it [ref].

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Type 1 diabetes treatment entails

Better control for newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes can be achieved by ensuring a proper treatment

Following are the methods used to control the blood sugar level during type 1 diabetes mellitus.

  • injecting insulin
  • tracking protein, fats, and carbohydrates
  • frequently checking blood sugar
  • eating nutritious food
  • regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight

To delay or prevent complications, blood sugar levels should be kept close to the normal ranges.

Pre-meal blood sugar levels should usually be maintained between 80 and 130 mg/dL (4.44 and 7.2 mmol/L). After-meal levels shouldn’t exceed 180 mg/dL (10 mmol/L) two hours after eating.

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Insulin and additional drugs

If a person has type 1 diabetes, they will need insulin therapy for the rest of their lives.

There are numerous insulin varieties, including:

  • Short-acting insulin:

It is also referred to as regular insulin. Approximately 30 minutes after injection, the short-acting insulin starts to work.

Its peak effect occurs between 90 and 120 minutes into its duration of 4 to 6 hours. Among them are Afrezza, Novolin R, and Humulin R.

  • Rapid-acting insulin:

This kind of insulin starts working within 15 minutes. It has a duration of about 4 hours and begins to wear off after 60 minutes.

Typically, this kind is consumed 15 to 20 minutes before meals. Examples include glulisine (Apidra), Lispro (Humalog, Admelog, and Lyumjev), and Aspart (Novolog and FiAsp).

  • Intermediate-acting insulin:

This kind of insulin, also referred to as NPH insulin starts working within an hour to three hours. It has a duration of 12 to 24 hours and peaks at 6 to 8 hours. Insulin NPH is one of them (Novolin N, Humulin N).

  • Long- and ultra-long-acting insulin.

This type of insulin may provide security for up to 14 to 40 hours. Examples include detemir (Levemir), glargine (Lantus, Toujeo Solostar, Basaglar), and Degludec (Tresiba)

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Guidelines for using Insulin:

Insulin cannot be taken orally to lower blood sugar because stomach enzymes will break it down and render it useless. You’ll need to administer shots or use an insulin pump (injections).

Some insulin pumps contain tubes, while another option for a pump is a tubeless pump, which requires you to wear an insulin pod on your body and a tiny catheter under your skin.

You’ll likely require several daily injections that combine long-acting and rapid-acting insulin. Depending on the type of insulin therapy you select or need, you may need to assess and record your blood glucose levels at least four times per day [ref].

The American Diabetes Association advises checking blood sugar levels before meals and snacks, before going to bed, before engaging in physical activity or operating a motor vehicle, and whenever you suspect you have low blood sugar.

The only way to ensure that your blood sugar level remains within the desired range is through careful monitoring.

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Other Medications

Some other medications that are prescribed along with type 1 diabetes:

  • Drugs for high blood pressure:

To help maintain the health of your kidneys, your doctor might recommend ACE inhibitors or ARBs—angiotensin II receptor blockers.

Diabetic Patients with blood pressures greater than 140/90 millimeters of mercury should take these medications (mm Hg).

  • Aspirin:

If you have cardiovascular disease, your doctor might advise taking baby aspirin or regular aspirin every day to protect your heart.

  • Medications that lower cholesterol:

Due to their increased risk of heart disease, people with diabetes are subject to stricter cholesterol guidelines.

The American Diabetes Association recommends a limit of 100 mg/dL (2.6 mmol/L) for low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol.

High-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good”) cholesterol levels of over 40 mg/dL (1 mmol/L) and 50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L), respectively, are recommended for both men and women.

Triglycerides, another type of blood fat, must be less than 150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L) [ref].

Statins are commonly prescribed for lowering blood cholesterol levels.

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Managing carbohydrates and eating a balanced diet

There is no anti-diabetes diet. However, balancing your daily carbs is the best way to manage a newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes. You must, however, concentrate your diet on nourishing, high-fiber, low-fat foods like:

  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • You should avoid refined carbohydrates like white bread and sweets, as well as animal products, according to your registered dietitian.
  • You’ll need to learn how to determine how many carbohydrates are in your food. This way, you can administer enough insulin to yourself. As a result, your body will be able to properly utilize those carbohydrates. With the help of a registered dietitian, you can create a meal plan that suits your needs.
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Physical activity

Everyone, including those with type 1 diabetes, should engage in regular aerobic exercise. Get your physician’s permission to exercise first.

Then, when you can, choose enjoyable activities like walking or swimming to engage in every day. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week and no more than two days per week without any exercise.

Remember that physical activity lowers blood sugar. Until you understand how a new activity affects your levels, monitor your blood sugar more frequently than usual. You might need to alter your meal schedule or insulin dosage because of the increased activity.[ref].

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What do you think?

Written by Dr. Ahmed

I am Dr. Ahmed (MBBS; FCPS Medicine), an Internist and a practicing physician. I am in the medical field for over fifteen years working in one of the busiest hospitals and writing medical posts for over 5 years.

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