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    Type 1 Diabetes: Are You as Smart as a 2nd Grader?

    Rumor Has It continued...

    If you pay attention to how you feel and closely watch your blood sugar levels to adjust as needed, you can stay safe and reap the rewards of getting in the game. 

    You can even excel. Swimmer Gary Hall, Jr. has type 1 diabetes -- and 10 Olympic medals.

    “You were feeling so good last week. Why are you having trouble now? Don’t you have it figured out?”

    Sometimes the disease can be hard to control, even when you stick to your meal plan and dosing schedule. 

    Many things -- including stress, hormone changes, periods of growth, and illness -- can cause your blood sugar to swing out of control. Ups and downs don’t mean you’ve done anything wrong.

    “When can you stop the insulin? Shouldn’t you be cured by now?”

    Taking insulin keeps people with type 1 diabetes alive. They must have it, but it doesn’t make the disease go away.

    “There is no cure, but we are making major strides,” Griffen says. He points to life-changing treatments, including new classes of drugs, insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitors and, someday, maybe even an “artificial pancreas” to fill in for a faulty original organ.

    Ironically, recent advances have also created more misconceptions. Those go something like this:

    “Why don’t you get one of those devices to check your blood sugar for you?”

    For many people, certain technology isn’t an option. It can be expensive, and insurance may not cover the cost. 

    Eric had a continuous glucose monitor for a few years. But that device wasn’t in the budget when his mom lost her job during the economic crisis. He uses a meter now.

    “There is a misconception that just because it is out there, anyone can get it, which is not true at all,” Pratt Hamblin says.

    Here’s another: 

    “Thank goodness you have that pump so you don’t have to worry about your blood sugar.”

    When people find out her son has an insulin pump, they think it automatically fixes his blood sugar, Pratt Hamblin says. 

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