Every single person on the planet needs insulin to stay alive. Most people don’t have to give this a single thought, but if you’re like me and have type 1 diabetes, we have to think about insulin every time we move, eat, don’t eat, stop moving, feel stress, get a headache, leave the house, wake up or go to sleep. Our insulin-producing cells in our pancreas have died, for reasons still undetermined. (I can tell you though, that getting type 1 diabetes has nothing to do with weight, lifestyle or eating sugar.) So, insulin from external sources via injections or an insulin pump is crucial for survival.
Poor insulin management–whether from lack of attention, poor understanding of the body’s mechanisms or circumstances out of our control such as stress, menstrual cycles, viruses and even weather changes–can have huge consequences. Heart, kidney and eye disease are often spoken about, but did you know diabetic nerve damage can wreak havoc with one’s gastrointestinal system, bladder, lungs and cause intense pain issues throughout the body? Their insidious nature may make them more cryptic, but no less a threat. As people with type 1 diabetes, we live with this reality day in and day out.
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