The first thing I would have said to that frightened 18-year-old girl back in 1994 is, "It's not your fault." You didn't do anything wrong. You weren't out breaking mirrors, spitting on leprechauns, or walking under ladders. Your body simply turned on itself. Your immune system decided to attack the wrong guys and here we are.
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 14. Suddenly, I went from being a carefree teenager to a patient who had to be concerned with every carbohydrate in a cracker. Not only was I dealing with the hormones and emotional adjustments of adolescence, but I was also learning to cope with and accept a disease that wanted a part of every minute of my day. I also had to deal with the illusion that other teenagers had nothing to worry about except how to fit in, and the fact that I was no longer part of that group of carefree kids. I was now the student who had a free pass from teachers to eat or drink during class. The girl who left fourth period ten minutes early to go to the nurse's office to test her glucose. The sick kid who had a doctor's appointment every two months and came late to school because of it.
As I write this, my nineteen-year-old son is in the intensive care unit because of a heroin addiction. He is trying to stop, and the withdrawal is wreaking havoc. His body is bruised and battered beyond belief.
Greetings from Philadelphia International Airport! Airports are fascinating places...great for seeing what people look like and how they act under unusual circumstances. At this moment, I see a lot of truly overweight people. Most folks are treating the moving walkway like a ride at Disney World–just standing there, inching slowly along and staring blankly at the passing drywall. I don’t know…maybe the two sights are related. Have we really become this lazy? Have we “convenienced” our way out of being in shape? Have electronic toilet flushers, soap dispensers, and water faucets taken away our last opportunity to burn any calories at all?
When a young person with type 1 diabetes leaves home for the first time, it's often a difficult adjustment for the parents as well as their child. Tyler Stevenson is 20 years old, in his second year at Florida State. This is what he told us about his life in college with diabetes.
Insulet Corp., the leader in tubing-free insulin pump technology with its OmniPod® Insulin Management System, recognizes the outstanding achievements of Christopher Gorham, age 12, of Waterford, Michigan for bringing home both silver and bronze medals in the Sparring and Forms competitions at the 2010 World Karate/Kickboxing Council World Championships held in Albufeira, Portugal. Chris is a 2nd degree black belt in training for a 3rd degree black belt; he has been in martial arts since he was four years old, competing all over the world.
As a type 1 diabetic, I have found that it's a good idea to plan for the unexpected when traveling. Life is full of surprises, and so are vacations. The flight is late. The flight has been cancelled. We had a flat tire or ran out of gas. There is an accident on the highway, and the traffic isn't moving. Who would have ever thought that airline flights would be grounded for five days in most of Eastern Europe because of volcanic ash from an erupting volcano in Iceland? If a diabetic had planned on going for a week-long vacation in England or France and had taken limited insulin, syringes, or infusion sets, he might have been in big trouble. Trying to replenish medical supplies in a foreign country could prove to be very difficult.
Diabetes Education and Camping Association's (DECA's) young adult leadership team "DLEAD" takes on Boston at "D-TREAT" - a unique 3-day event at Northeastern University, May 28-30, 2010 - to encourage young adults with diabetes to network, share insights and meet peers during an awesome event.
While the words "diabetes" and "camp" may not sound like they belong in the same sentence for most people, they sure do for thousands of kids across the country. Diabetes camp is their time to share experiences, learn, and have fun with other kids who have diabetes. You'll find the usual camping activities like hiking, arts and crafts, boating, swimming, and sitting around the campfire, but also lessons on adjusting your insulin pump to compensate for sports and how to give yourself an injection.
Dr. Stan De Loach is a bicultural, trilingual, Certified Diabetes Educator (one of the first 13 in Mexico) and clinical psychologist, not to mention a pianist, composer, and writer. Born and educated in the U.S., he has been a resident of Mexico for decades, and his first love is the annual bilingual diabetes camp that he co-founded, the four-day Campamento Diabetes Safari in Mexico..
A California study that tracked 77 obese adolescents for almost two years indicates that metformin XR, an extended-release version of the popular anti-diabetic drug, may help lower body mass index in overweight teens who do not have diabetes.
In addition to diagnosing type 2 diabetes based on fasting blood glucose levels or a glucose tolerance test, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) and the American College of Endocrinology (ACE) have now approved the use of A1c as an additional diagnostic criterion for type 2 diabetes.
Growth hormones, peer pressure, independence struggles, and mood swings: welcome to the teenage years! There's nothing like a warning glance from a fed-up teenager to make a parent retreat. As your child takes more control of his or her diabetes, it becomes ever more tempting to step back and avoid the friction that sometimes comes from being involved. Nevertheless, your teenager needs your reliable presence more than ever. The beauty, strength, and sheer courage our kids exhibit in meeting their teenage challenges can inspire us to stand up and work with them to keep their health and well-being firmly in the forefront of their minds. Each child and each situation is different, but here are a few suggestions for staying on your teen's diabetes team.
I'll never forget the afternoon of January 22, 2003. I was just leaving my classroom when my phone lit up, alerting me to a new voicemail. My heart stopped when I listened to the message. It was my son's pediatrician, asking me to call him back as soon as possible.
According to a global survey studying children with diabetes, current healthcare systems are failing to give adequate social and psychological support to young people with diabetes. This lack of support often leads to poor control of their disease, resulting in long-term health complications.
I read with interest the article by Cynthia Heinz in which she spoke to her local school board, describing a worst case scenario for a child with severe hypoglycemia. As a veteran parent with 15 years of dealing with diabetes in our local public school, I have a few things to add to the discussion.
I have had type 1 diabetes for 16 years and, after a long path with many ups and downs, I have finally achieved optimal diabetic health. I have discovered the special lifestyle and diet mix that works and have brought my A1c from 11.4% to 5.2% while increasing my energy and overall health. I'm an elite athlete who plays professional ice hockey, and I currently run marathons.
Before diabetes, I was a normal teenager whose greatest worry was whether I’d get an A or a B on a test. I was strong and healthy. Somehow, I took for granted all the freedoms that diabetes took away from me. Last year, at the age of fifteen, I learned that every day, even every breath, that we are given is a true gift.
“Discontinuing basal insulin during exercise is an effective strategy for reducing hypoglycemia in children with type 1 diabetes,” say researchers from Tampa, Florida, “but the risk of hyperglycemia is increased.”
Carla Elliot liked to keep busy. A bright and outgoing 14-year-old girl, Carla involved herself in as many activities as she could. Whether it was swimming, cheerleading, softball, 4-H club meetings or simply running around the neighborhood, Carla was there.
Vivian Murray, RD, a type I for 32 years, is a camp director for children with diabetes. She was recently anticipating the possible problems she might encounter this summer supervising 230 enthusiastic kids.
Because children receive such small doses of insulin compared to adults, accurate measurement is crucial. But doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital reported in the January 1996 Diabetes Care that caregivers overdraw insulin by an average of 0.22 U.
Tamara Norris and Cyndie Flores are insulin pump users who started their own business selling pump accesories. In talking with DIABETES HEALTH, Tamara and Cyndie discuss their first experiences using the insulin pump, and their decision to go into business.
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