When you have diabetes, your body does not make enough insulin or does not use insulin well. The body is made up of many cells. Each cell needs sugar (glucose) for energy. Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Insulin is the key that allows glucose to get into the cells to make energy. Insulin is made in your pancreas.
What Kind of Diabetes do I Have?
- Type 1 diabetes
- Type 2 diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes
- The most common type of diabetes in children, teens, and young adults.
- An autoimmune disorder. This means that the body gets rid of the cells that make insulin.
- The body has little or no insulin.
- You will always need to take insulin.
Type 2 Diabetes
- It is more common in adults.
- Some children and teens can develop Type 2 diabetes.
- Insulin is in the body, but the body cannot use it well. This is called ‘insulin resistance.’
- It may be controlled by eating healthy foods, exercising every day, and being at a healthy weight.
- Sometimes you will need pills to help your body use insulin better or get rid of extra glucose in the body.
- You may need insulin.
What Happens when I have Diabetes?
- The glucose stays in the blood.
- When the blood glucose gets too high, some glucose leaves the body through the urine.
- Water leaves the body with the glucose.
When Your Blood Glucose is High You May:
- Feel thirsty
- Go to the bathroom a lot
- Have a dry mouth
- Wet the bed
When Glucose Cannot Get into the Cells:
- The body starts to use fat for energy.
- When fat is used for energy, your body makes ketones.
- Ketones are in the blood and in the urine.
- Ketones cause the blood to have more acid.
- Acid in the blood leads to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). This can make you very sick.
When You Cannot Use Glucose for Energy You:
- Feel tired
- Lose weight
When you have ketones in your blood you:
- May have a stomach ache
- May throw up (vomit)
When You have Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) You:
- Feel Sick
- Start to breathe fast
- Have a fruity smell to your breath
- Can be hard to wake up
What do I Need to do if I Have Diabetes?
How do I Keep My Blood Glucose in a Normal Range?
Think and Act Like a Pancreas by:
- Checking your blood glucose at least 4 times each day
- Taking insulin at least 4 times each day
- Counting carbohydrates in the foods you eat
- Learning what makes your blood glucose change and making changes to keep your blood glucose in target range
Why do I Need to Take Care of Diabetes?
Will Diabetes Stop Me from Doing Things I Want to do?
- You will need to plan so you have time to check your blood glucose, count carbohydrates, and take insulin.
- You will need to be ready for times when your blood glucose is too low or too high.