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Quiz: The Truth About Type 1 Diabetes

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Only children get type 1 diabetes.

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Only children get type 1 diabetes.

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Type 1 diabetes, which used to be called juvenile diabetes, often appears in children and young adults. But it can be diagnosed at any age, and it doesn’t go away. About 85% of people with type 1 diabetes are adults. Symptoms can include thirst, frequent urination, hunger, fatigue, and weight loss. A blood test will tell you if you have it.

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Eating too many sweets can give you type 1 diabetes.

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Eating too many sweets can give you type 1 diabetes.

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Type 1 diabetes has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. It's a disease that usually develops when the immune system destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. That’s a hormone you need to get energy from food. Without insulin, blood sugar levels become higher than normal, and that can cause health problems. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin for the rest of their lives.

Five years after diagnosis, you should see:

Five years after diagnosis, you should see:

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Over time, type 1 diabetes can cause other problems in your body. It can affect your heart, eyes, nerves, and kidneys. You should see an eye doctor to make sure your eyes are healthy. You may need to get checked sooner than 5 years after your diagnosis, depending on your age, vision problems, or if you wear glasses or contacts. If your child has type 1, screening checkups usually aren't needed until he or she goes through puberty.

Which of these affects blood sugar levels the most?

Which of these affects blood sugar levels the most?

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Eating the same amount of carbohydrates at each meal can help you control your blood sugar. Carbs give you energy and affect your blood sugar levels; proteins and fat have little or no effect. For most people, 45% to 65% of the day’s calories should come from carbs. A dietician can help you figure out how many carbs you should have at each meal and snack.

People with type 1 diabetes shouldn’t drink diet soda.

People with type 1 diabetes shouldn’t drink diet soda.

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What you drink affects your weight, but it also affects your blood sugar. Choose drinks that have few or no calories. Water is best. If you want a little extra flavor, try squeezing lime or lemon juice into it. Coffee, an occasional diet soda, unsweetened tea, low-fat or skim milk, or 100% fruit juice with no added sugar are all OK. Stay away from soda, fruit punch, and other drinks that are high in sugar.

What percent of people with diabetes have type 1?

What percent of people with diabetes have type 1?

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With type 1, your body stops making insulin.. Without insulin, your body can’t absorb sugar. You can't prevent type 1. With type 2, your body doesn’t use insulin properly. It’s most common in people older than 40 who are overweight. You can inherit a tendency to develop type 2 diabetes, but it can be prevented or delayed with a healthy lifestyle.

You don’t have to monitor your blood sugar if you’re on an insulin pump.

You don’t have to monitor your blood sugar if you’re on an insulin pump.

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Insulin pumps are small computerized devices that deliver insulin to control rises in blood sugar. Getting insulin this way is the closest thing to the body’s normal release of the hormone. Doses are delivered through a small plastic tube called a catheter, which is inserted through the skin and taped into place. You’ll still need to keep close tabs on your blood sugar level and the amount of carbohydrates you eat, though. If you’re not on an insulin pump, you’ll need insulin shots.

During pregnancy, women with type 1 diabetes need:

During pregnancy, women with type 1 diabetes need:

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When a woman is pregnant, an organ called the placenta makes hormones that help her baby grow. For women with type 1 diabetes, those hormones also do something else: They block insulin from working as effectively.You’ll need more insulin during pregnancy, especially during the last 3 months. You may also need to change your eating plan to keep your blood sugar levels where they need to be.

It’s OK to have a beer or a glass of wine if you have type 1 diabetes.

It’s OK to have a beer or a glass of wine if you have type 1 diabetes.

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Moderate drinking doesn’t have much of an effect on blood sugar. But check your levels before, during, and after you drink. Pass on alcohol if your blood sugar is low. Have your drink with food and water, or a zero-calorie, non-alcoholic drink, to stay hydrated. Also, tell your doctor about your drinking habits.

When should you test for ketones?

When should you test for ketones?

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Your body burns fat for energy when there isn’t enough insulin to help it use sugar for fuel. That causes ketones to form in your blood and spill into your urine, and they can make you very sick. Check for ketones if you’ve been ill, if you are pregnant, or if your blood sugar level is higher than 250 mg/dl for two tests in a row. You can buy a test at the pharmacy. If you have ketones, call your doctor, and drink plenty of water to wash them out. 

Regular exercise can help you control your blood sugar levels.

Regular exercise can help you control your blood sugar levels.

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Exercise is good for your heart and can help you manage your diabetes. Take precautions, though. Test your blood sugar (glucose) levels before exercising. If they're low, have a snack with 15 grams of carbohydrates, wait 15 minutes, and check it again. Keep a fast-acting glucose snack with you in case your blood sugar drops. Whole milk, which has carbohydrates, protein, and fat and is processed slowly, is a good option after your workout.

Women with type 1 diabetes have a higher risk of:  

Women with type 1 diabetes have a higher risk of:  

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A woman with type 1 diabetes is more than twice as likely to have an eating disorder than a woman without the disease. Look for changes in eating habits, extreme exercise, and concern about body image and weight. Some women with type 1 who develop eating disorders don’t give themselves as much insulin as they need. This is called diabulimia, and it can cause serious health problems.

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