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Tips for Managing Type 1 Diabetes

Tips for Managing Type 1 Diabetes

Like all autoimmune diseases, Type 1 diabetes causes your body to attack itself. In this case, it targets the cells in your pancreas that normally produce insulin. Without insulin to regulate the sugar in your blood, your glucose rises to dangerous levels and puts you at risk for damage to your teeth and gums, bones and joints, kidneys, nerves, blood vessels, and eyes. 

Now, for the good news: Type 1 diabetes is manageable.

At The Endocrine Center in Houston, Texas, our team of board-certified experts specializes in complex thyroid problems, metabolic issues, and hormonal imbalances. If you have Type 1 diabetes, we use the most advanced technology, apply the latest research, and partner with you to manage your symptoms and keep your life on track.

Here are some practical tips you can incorporate into your daily routine and mindset as you navigate your Type 1 diabetes journey.

Learn everything you can about Type 1 diabetes

If you’ve been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, we want you to be fully informed so you can take a proactive role in your treatment. We encourage you to ask us questions, do your own research, and be an integral part of your own care team.

For starters, here are some numbers to give you an overview of Type 1 diabetes in the United States:

Another shocking number: Although treatments are widely available, only about one-third of people with Type 1 diabetes are successfully controlling their blood sugar levels. But you don’t have to be one of them. 

Build a team

Don’t face Type 1 diabetes alone. It takes a lot of support to get through life with Type 1 diabetes, so make sure you surround yourself with reliable, knowledgeable people.

Medical team

Start with our team at The Endocrine Center. We offer comprehensive Type 1 diabetes care, including insulin therapy and prescription medications. We also offer expert advice about nutrition, exercise, and weight management — three pillars of diabetes management. 

Although Type 1 diabetes is incurable, ongoing research continues to highlight new therapies, techniques, and medications that can relieve your symptoms and improve the regulation of your blood sugar levels. The Endocrine Center offers cutting-edge treatments up to seven years ahead of most other clinics.

Home team

Your team should include family, friends, and co-workers who understand your disease and can offer emotional and medical support. They can learn to recognize the signs of low blood sugar, help you seek medical care in emergency situations, and encourage you as you deal with your symptoms and daily routines.

Mental health team

If you’re like many folks dealing with Type 1 diabetes, you may find that you need professional help to stave off depression or other emotional issues. We can refer you to some excellent therapists.

Specialist team

Because diabetes can affect multiple body systems, you may need to consult with various specialists. Make sure you have an experienced podiatrist and optometrist to address issues like peripheral neuropathy and diabetic retinopathy. 

Eat smart

Minding your diet is one of the most important things you can do to manage your Type 1 diabetes. If you’re used to eating junk food or gorging on huge meals, that should change. 

Rather than eating three large meals a day, eat smaller meals throughout the day to keep your blood sugar from spiking and plummeting. Make sure the food you eat is lean and low in sugar. Focus on whole foods that aren’t overly processed, and learn to read labels to find hidden sugar. 

Exercise — but don’t overdo it

Regular exercise is good for your overall health. It boosts your immunity and keeps all of your systems running smoothly, so make sure to incorporate it into your Type 1 diabetes treatment plan.

But if your blood sugar has dipped and you head out for a 2-mile run, it could cause dangerously low blood sugar called hypoglycemia. To prevent this, always measure your blood sugar levels before and after activity.

Check your blood sugar often

Whether you use a finger stick or a glucose sensor, you need to be aware of your blood sugar levels at all times. Check it first thing in the morning, before and after meals, and before you engage in an activity like exercise or driving a car. 

If your blood sugar is too high or too low, you can correct it with medication or food. Many apps are available to help you monitor your blood sugar on your smartphone, too.

For the latest in Type 1 diabetes treatments and more tips for living with your condition, schedule an appointment at The Endocrine Center at any of our three convenient Houston locations by calling or booking online.

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