October 6, 2008

Diabetes 101

So, at the end of October, I will have had diabetes for 14 years of my life and it still makes me laugh that my own mother doens't quite understand this disease that two of her children have. I get questions about it all the time from friends, and I love answering, but I never really feel like I make sense. So, here is a quick class:

Diabetes: The pancreas produces insulin that takes the food that a person eats and feeds it to the cells in the body.

Too little insulin in the blood=high amounts of sugar in the blood=irritability, blurry vision, frequent urination.

A high bloodsugar level would be 200+.

When this happens, I will take insulin. If i want to bring my bloodsurgar level down by 35, I will take one unit of insulin and takes about 30-45 minutes for it to really kick in.

Too much insulin in the blood=not enough sugar in the blood=sweaty, shakey, confusion.

A low blood sugar level would be about 70 or less.

When this happens, I will eat something (bread, juice, etc). Every 10 carbohydrates that I eat, my bloodsugar level will rise by about 40 and takes about 15 minutes to get into my bloodstream.

A person's bloodsugar level will naturally rise during every hour of every day, so therefore, I have a steady amount of insulin going into my body. It is spread out by using my insulin pump, on average, to be about one unit of insulin per hour to keep me at a normal level. I also use my insulin pump to give calculate how much insulin I need to take according to how many carbs I eat.

My target bloodsugar: 120.
Your bloodsugar level: 80-100.
Different types of thing affect how insulin reacts in my body.

Reasons insulin will lower my bloodsugar more than it normally would:
  • If I haven't eaten in a while
  • If I have exercised
  • If I have been out in the sun a lot
Reasons insulin wouldn't work as well in lowering my bloodsugar as it normally wood:
  • If I am stressed
  • If I have eaten fatty foods
I test my bloodsugar before an after meals...usually about 8-10 times a day.


Mark & Shauna Bevans said...

I remember the days of sitting at our kitchen table and you answering all our ?'s about diabetes and letting us "try" your finger poker thing:)...

The Schuhmachers said...

August marked 10 years of diabetes for Jack, one year for Ben and
2 1/2 years for Luke. I know what you go through kid, and I think you are amazing! Love you! ( I can call you kid because I am officially old now:)

Anonymous said...

holy complicated.

i'm sorry allison.

but sounds like you are a pro.

:) go you!

Kari said...

I had a good friend with diabetes. It really is more than just something you have (like a pair of shoes or an outfit) it is a way of life. You did a great job of explaining it! In response to something you wrote on my blog - while we didn't name Allison after you, when we thought of the name we remembered you and you had left such a good impression with us that we decided to use the name!

kp said...

So you're saying that if your blood sugar is LOW, is should give you a little insulin, right?! Am I right?! Is there a quiz?