Thursday, November 18, 2010

Family History

(NaBloPoMo Day 18)
It may come as a surprise to a lot of people that T1 Diabetes is NOT necessarily hereditary.

I get asked ALL.THE.TIME if we have a family history of Diabetes.

And, we don't!

The Superhero is the FIRST person (that we know of) to have an autoimmune disease, such as T1 Diabetes.

I always jokingly answer "Well, there has to be a first for everything." But I hate this question! I know people are just trying to make conversation, but it gets old.

People WITH a family history have a slightly higher chance of getting Diabetes. And people with NO history STILL have about a 5% chance of developing the disease.

This means it CAN happen to YOU or to someone YOU know! THIS is why it is important to know the signs and create awareness. Here are some common signs/symptoms of Diabetes again.

From the Mayo Clinic:

Type 1 diabetes signs and symptoms can come on quickly and may include:

  • Increased thirst and frequent urination. As excess sugar builds up in your bloodstream, fluid is pulled from your tissues. This may leave you thirsty. As a result, you may drink — and urinate — more than usual.
  • Extreme hunger. Without enough insulin to move sugar into your cells, your muscles and organs become depleted of energy. This triggers intense hunger that may persist even after you eat. Without insulin, the sugar in your food never reaches your energy-starved tissues.
  • Weight loss. Despite eating more than usual to relieve hunger, you may lose weight — sometimes rapidly. Without the energy sugar supplies, your muscle tissues and fat stores may simply shrink.
  • Fatigue. If your cells are deprived of sugar, you may become tired and irritable.
  • Blurred vision. If your blood sugar level is too high, fluid may be pulled from your tissues — including the lenses of your eyes. This may affect your ability to focus clearly.

It takes A LOT for us to get this through to people without Diabetes in their families, but if we can spread awareness and save even ONE person from being diagnosed TOO LATE, it will be worth it! (the two links are to my friend Kris' blog and to a video about a toddler who was dx too late.)

Diabetes Fact #18:T1 Diabetes can happen to ANYONE, it is not necessarily hereditary. This means that yes, it CAN happen to YOU or to someone YOU know.

Diabetes Fact #17: People with T1 or T2 Diabetes (and their caregivers) are more likely to experience depression than their peers without Diabetes.

Diabetes Fact #16: The out of pocket cost of managing T1 Diabetes is EXPENSIVE.

Diabetes Fact #15: Having Type 1 and getting an illness (especially a tummy bug) CAN be dangerous.

Diabetes Fact #14: Without insulin, a person with T1 Diabetes would DIE within ONE week.

Diabetes Fact #13: Type 1 Diabetes usually strikes children, adolescents, and young adults, but it CAN be diagnosed in adults as well.

Diabetes Fact #12: It is important for families of Diabetic children or the people with Diabetes themselves to genuinely try to understand what we go through, to learn about Diabetes along with us, and to support us through encouraging comments.

Diabetes Fact #11: Diabetes is ALL consuming. It is NOT our life, but it is a HUGE part of it.

Diabetes Fact #10: Parents of children with Diabetes HATE when people say "I could NEVER do it!" when referring to the management of their kid's disease. In reality, YOU could, and WOULD do it if you HAD to. We probably had the same thoughts as you and now look at us, doing it 24/7.

Diabetes Fact #9: The term "Juvenile Diabetes" is outdated. We now call it "T1 Diabetes" or "Insulin Dependent Diabetes". People with this type of Diabetes will NEVER outgrow it. EVER. They will have this relentless disease until a CURE is found.

Diabetes Fact #8: A cure would be great, but a long life without complications is a close second for people with T1 Diabetes.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

That video about that little boy who was diagnosed too late was just heart-wrenching :(. My daughter was a pariticipant in the Colorado TEDDY study prior to diagnosis and I thank God everyday for that study! We were able to catch her diabetes long before it got to be a medical crisis because of the close monitoring. I hope our participation did some good and may someday help to lead to some answers.

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